Giving fresh hope to people battling leukaemia, the Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine (ACNSMM) has developed a new nanomedicine for drug-resistant blood cancer.
It has also developed a polymer wafer to prevent recurrence of brain tumour.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, the centre said the new nanomedicine can dramatically improve the treatment of drug-resistant Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia (CML), when used with Imatinib, standard drug for the disease.
The centre has also devised a mechanism to prevent recurrence of glioma or brain tumour.
The two projects will be formally unveiled on Thursday on the ocassion of ‘Amritavarsham60’, the 60th birthday celebrations of Mata Amritanandamayi.
CML affects approximately two out of every 1 lakh persons in India annually.
Almost 40 per cent of these cases are resistant to Imatinib. For these patients, treatment options are limited.
“What we have done at Amrita is to take a particular ‘small-molecule inhibitor’ class of anti-cancer drug that is currently available in the market and encapsulate it into a protein nanocapsule,” said Shantikumar Nair, ACNSMM director.
“This allows the drug to be absorbed directly into cancer cells circulating in the patient’s bloodstream. This increases the drug’s efficacy in killing cancer cells. Further, the circulation lifetime of the drug in the blood is increased, which also increases its efficacy,” he said.
The nano-encapsulated version of the drug has proved to be non-toxic in healthy mice in tests conducted by the department, and it has similarly demonstrated itself to be effective in tests involving blood samples of people with Imatinib-resistant CML, he said.