US, Indian scientists’ team research hints at anticancer therapy sans chemo
The findings of a team of 10 scientists working at Cleveland Clinic of the United States led by prof of cancer biology Yong Li and an assistant professor of biochemistry from Allahabad University (AU) Munish Pandey were recently published in a prestigious international journal
A team of US and Indian scientists on the strength of their research have hinted at a novel effective treatment process of cancer without chemo and radiation therapies known for causing side effects like fatigue, nausea, hair loss, weight loss, pain, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal problem, immune suppression, besides sore mouth and throat among most cancer patients.
The findings of this team of 10 scientists working in the field of cancer at the Cleveland Clinic of the United States led by professor of Cancer Biology Yong Li and an assistant professor of biochemistry from Allahabad University (AU) Munish Pandey were recently published in the prestigious international journal Oncogene of Nature Publishing Group.
After successful experiments on mice, efforts are now being intensified to do the same for human trial, the scientists claim. “The study may give relief to cancer patient who undergo chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses radiation and other drugs which have many side effects and evoke immune system response that causes severe pain and allergic reactions. Our team had earlier developed knockout mice (a lab mouse in which one or more genes have been turned off or “knocked out” using genetic engineering) for miR-21 and same was published in PNAS journal,” Pandey said.
Knockout mice are used to study what happens in an organism when a particular gene is absent. MicroRNA-21 (small non-coding RNA) is one of the most abundant microRNAs in mammalian cells that regulate apoptosis (programmed cell death) and oncogenic effects.
He said his team was on way to discovering an alternative to chemotherapy and drugs in the treatment of cancer which damage normal cells along with cancer cells during cancer treatment. In this successful experiment in the Cleveland Clinic of US the team, while experimenting on mice, injected its anti-sense (non-coding DNA strand of a gene) into mice to make miR-21 ineffective.
After this, it was found that the tumour formed in the body of the mice gradually became smaller. Some tumours even disappeared. This experiment went on for a year in the US. However, it has not yet got approval for human trial.
During research, the team also found that microRNA i.e. miR-21 significantly expressed in most cancer types. “This makes cancer cells more effective in presence of miR-21,” Pandey said. “The group is further working on other programmed cell death mechanisms, microRNAs and Chimeric Antigen T-Cell therapy (CAR-T) to tackle carcinogenicity in mice model,” he added.