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Shrikant Anant

An Indian scientist, has identified a protein that can destroy several types of cancer cells.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2003 22:56 IST

An Indian scientist, leading a research group at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, has identified a protein that can destroy several types of cancer cells.

Shrikant Anant, assistant professor of medicine, has reported that the protein when inserted into cultured tumour cells causes more than 70 per cent of them to self-destruct.

The significant findings on the protein, called cytidine uridine guanosine binding protein-2 (CUGBP2), have been reported in the journal, "Molecular Cell".

Anant, who has been working on this project for the last five years, has now begun research on animal models to see if the protein has the same effect in their tumours as it did in human cancer cells in the test tube. This process is expected to take another two years.

"We are still only scratching at the surface. We have a long way to go," Anant told the Hindustan Times from St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday. As he sees it, the protein could have possible implications for the treatment of several types of cancers, especially those of colon and breast.

Depending on the results of the research on animal models, the group will approach the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human trials. Anant's group of seven researchers includes another Indian, Debnath Mukhopadhyay.

First Published: Jan 27, 2003 19:21 IST