Researchers at IIT, Roorkee come out with major breakthrough in cancer treatment

The method called Photodynamic Therapy, the researchers say, works on the concept of targeted drug delivery into the afflicted area, with the use of ultraviolet light.

Published: 22nd January 2018 07:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2018 07:25 PM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a major breakthrough, researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee have discovered a new method of treating cancer using a highly reactive molecule under ultraviolet light, which has so far been considered largely harmful.

The method called Photodynamic Therapy, the researchers say, works on the concept of targeted drug delivery into the afflicted area, with the use of ultraviolet light.

The researchers, led by Kaushik Ghosjh of the department of Chemistry and Prabhat Mandal of the department of Biotechnology at IIT, Roorkee, used the extreme end of the visible light spectrum to induce skin penetration and Nitric Oxide (NO) release.

The results showed that the photo-released Nitric Oxide (Nitric Oxide in presence of UV light) turned out be cytotoxic and led to the death of the cancerous cells.

Talking about the research findings, Ghosh told The New Indian Express:, “Radiation or chemotherapy which is vastly used in the treatment of cancer severely impact other fast-growing cells and also have  many side effects. We have discovered a treatment method that overcomes that hurdle.”

“Our aim was to look at a method through which we can deliver the drug in a non-toxic way, only to the area which is affected by cancer, thereby reducing the effect of the drugs on the remaining body.”

“In recent years, target specific delivery of Nitric Oxide (NO) has become an important area in chemical as well as biochemical research. Molecules which could deliver Nitric Oxide (NO) upon illumination with light are important for photodynamic therapy. However, no one had tried it under the spectrum of visible light,” Ghosh added.

“We used the extreme end of the spectrum of visible light to induce the release of Nitric Oxide (NO) and the results have been positive. Such interesting results are of extreme interest in photodynamic therapy and we hope that there will be further investigations on the use of such activity in treatment of diseases like hypertension as well.”

The research, which was published in the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, can usher a new era in the area of cancer treatment, a doctor at the Tata Memorial Hospital—leading institute for cancer confirmed.

The researchers are in touch with the TMH to test the efficacy of the new treatment method in real patients.


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