Finding cancer cure has so far been an elusive target but it may not be too far with a groundbreaking research by Tata claiming to have found the potential drug which can not only keep the cancer cells from resurfacing but also come at an affordable price of 100 a tablet. Tata Memorial Hospital through its new research has developed a 100 tablet to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment therapy as well as to prevent resurgence or relapse of cancer, said Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director of the Tata Memorial Centre in an interview with NDTV. (Also read | HTLS 2023: India will have the best cancer care system in the world in 5 years, says Vivek Wadhwa)

A decade-long research study by Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) doctors found that dying cancer cells release cell-free chromatin particles after chemotherapy and radiotherapy that can turn healthy cells into cancerous ones. (representational pic)(Twitter/AndyVermaut)

Dr Badwe said the doctors at Tata are working for almost a decade on this tablet which is likely to get approval from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in June-July for reducing side effects of cancer treatment. The senior doctor said the tablet once approved can help reduce side effects of treatments like chemotherapy by 50 per cent and possibility of cancer relapse by 30%, which is by far the cheapest and the most effective cancer treatment so far, as per the institute.

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A decade-long research study by Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) doctors found that dying cancer cells release cell-free chromatin particles after chemotherapy and radiotherapy that can turn healthy cells into cancerous ones. As per the study, the pro-oxidant combination of resveratrol and copper helped in destroying the chromatin and regulating toxicity in patients undergoing chemotherapy, said a Hindustan Times report.

“We did a little experiment in which we took human breast cancer cells and implanted them in immunodeficient mice,” said Dr Indraneel Mittra, the onco-surgeon-turned-scientist who led the TMH doctors in the study. “Within six weeks, a small tumour was formed. We divided the mice into three categories according to the cancer treatment—chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. We found that all the three treatments increased chromatin in the mouse brain.”

“We found that a combination of resveratrol and copper helped in destroying chromatin. We used the combination to be given orally in our studies and found that it prevented metastasis,” said Dr Mittra. “We now need to test it on humans to understand how best we can improve the outcome of our patients, and if possible, the outcome of the general population of India,” said Dr Rajendra Badwe.

Recently Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russian scientists are close to developing cancer vaccines that would be soon available to patients

“The research delves into the mechanism of metastasis that we were not able to uncover for so long. What qualities the cells have that metastasis can happen and what leads to metastasis, we have understood both these things through this research,” Dr Badwe told NDTV.

However, to reap benefits of this new treatment for preventing resurgence of cancer, people may have to wait for a couple of years as Dr Badwe added that the trials will take at least 5-6 years.



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