Research by Mohali’s lab shows the way for a new cancer treatment technology that can eradicate tumors within a month

Tribune News Service

Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, August 27th

A new method of treating cancer using nanoparticles has been designed by a laboratory in Mohali that is not only said to be more efficient than conventional medical practices, but may lead to adjunctive or alternative cancer treatments in the future.

Laboratory research has shown that these nanoparticles are able to selectively kill cancer cells without affecting normal cells and can lead to tumor eradication within a month or so of treatment.

Researchers at the Institute of Nanoscience and Technology (INST), Mohali, have used copper-zinc ferrite nanoparticles loaded with vitamin-K3 with therapeutic potential to develop a new treatment methodology that could benefit millions of cancer patients worldwide.

Conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery have significant drawbacks such as chemotherapy drug resistance, adverse effects, and decreased efficacy.

Hence the development of nanotherapies that can target hypoxic tumors, a condition in which oxygen is not available in sufficient quantities at the tissue level, with minimal necessary side effects, according to a statement from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

At present, MHCT has been shown to be curative, but in most cases it is not very effective due to the generation of low levels of reactive oxygen species in a hypoxic tumor environment and low heat transfer. MHCT uses the heat generated by nanoparticles when they are exposed to an alternating magnetic field.

With the increasing prevalence of cancer cases worldwide, there is an increasing need for new approaches to cancer treatment to tackle the problem. According to a study published under the auspices of the National Institute of Health, the estimated number of cancer cases in India for the year 2022 was 14.61 thousand.

The incidence of cancer is expected to rise by 12.8 percent in 2025 to about 19,000 cases, the paper projected. In India, one in nine people are likely to get cancer, with lung, breast and lymphoblastic leukemia being the main types of diseases in this field.

A team led by Dr. Deepika Sharma at INST, a central government institution, has devised a system that integrates MHTC and dynamic chemotherapy, a technique that involves the catalytic reaction to generate hydroxyl radicals that are highly toxic to kill cancer cells.

According to the researchers, the combination of these technologies causes irreversible oxidative damage to cancer cells, leading to the complete elimination of the tumor. “The combined effect resulted in a synergistic anticancer response. A rate of 69 percent tumor suppression was achieved within 20 days of MTD treatment and complete tumor resection within 30 days,” the researchers said.

The INST scientists’ findings have been published in Applied Materials and Interfaces, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.


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