Nano medicine - hope and future for cancer

Tapas K Kundu from JNCASR, Bangalore, said gold nano-particles can reduce cancer, but the challenge in containing adverse reactions of these particles, which the body considered as foreign particles.

Kundu, a professor with the molecular biology and genetics unit of JNCASR, said that the challenge was to make the drug reach cancer stems cells (CSC).

He was delivering a lecture on ‘Genes and Diseases: New Generation Therapeutics’, organised by Centre for Nano-technology as part of an Expert Lecture Series, at Sir M V Auditorium of National Institute of Engineering (NIE) in Mysore recently.

“Among all diseases, more money has been pumped into cancer for research and yet only two per cent success rate has been achieved. There are 100 different diseases that begin in the cells. Hence extensive research is going on all over the world in the area of cancer. New lifestyle and lack of awareness have resulted in high levels of cancer incidents in India. All types of cancer are genetic, but not hereditary — though some cancers sometimes are hereditary,” he said.

Evidence of cancer was available in dinosaur bones, which date back to 80 million years. In 300 BC, Hippocrates named tumors as carcinogens. However, it may be noted that much before Hippocrates, tumors were referred to as ‘arbudha’ in Ayurvedic science, he said.

Kundu said, any irritation — be it psychological or physical — can lead to cancer. The imbalance in hormones was a strong pointer to cancer. Unfortunately, oral and cervical cancers are predominant in India. “A day will come when we will have to live with cancer like we do with diabetes and hypertension. Therefore, nano medicine is the new hope and future,” he added.

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