Good News For Cancer Patients, New Drug Can Help In Reducing Toxicity Caused By Chemo

Good News For Cancer Patients, New Drug Can Help In Reducing Toxicity Caused By Chemo

The drug – a combination of Resveratrol and copper – is expected to be available by June.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 09:49 PM IST
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Cancer | Pexels

Mumbai, February 27: A recent study by Tata Memorial Centre has cast light on the paradoxical nature of cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, revealing a mechanism by which these treatments may inadvertently facilitate the spread of the disease.

The study, published by the Department of Atomic Energy, focuses on cell-free chromatin particles (cfChPs), microscopic remnants of cancer cells killed by conventional treatments. These particles, carrying cancer-causing genes, can circulate through the body and transform healthy cells into malignant ones.

Drug To Be Available By June:

The decade-long study, led by Professor Indraneel Mittra and his team, has discovered a drug – a combination of Resveratrol and copper – that can help in reducing the toxicity caused by conventional cancer treatments. The drug is expected to be available by June.

Mice treated with agents specifically designed to deactivate or destroy these particles showed a minimal presence of cfChPs, pointing towards a promising strategy to prevent the metastatic spread of cancer. This approach underscores the necessity of integrating new drugs or agents that focus on cfChPs into cancer treatment protocols.

Toxicity Caused By Chemo Major Challenge:

Toxicity associated with chemotherapy is a major therapeutic challenge and is caused by chemotherapy-induced DNA damage and inflammation. “We have recently reported that cell-free chromatin (cfCh) fragments released from dying cells can readily enter into healthy cells of the body to integrate into their genomes and induce DNA double-strand breaks, apoptosis and inflammation in them. We hypothesized that much of the toxicity of chemotherapy might be due to release of large quantities of cfCh from dying cells that could trigger an exaggerated DNA damage, apoptotic and inflammatory response in healthy cells over and above that caused by the drugs themselves,” said Prof Dr Mittra.

“Chemo-toxicity is not primarily caused by chemotherapeutic drugs, but rather by cfChPs that are released from the first cells that die after chemotherapy. The released cfChPs set in motion a cascading effect, increasingly damaging the DNA of healthy host cells, and triggering inflammatory processes in a vicious cycle that perpetuates and prolongs the toxicity of chemotherapy,” said Prof Dr Mittra.

Prof Dr Mittra emphasized the need for further large-scale studies but expressed optimism about the possibility of curing cancer rather than just treating it. However, TMC has also collaborated with a nutraceutical company to commercialise the chromatin-degrading agents, which are expected to be available for sale in June or July. This development holds promise for reducing treatment-related toxicity in various cancers, as demonstrated in patients with stomach, brain, oral, and blood cancer in human trials.

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