Tag Archives: Cancer

Bio-nanotechnology To Develop Cure for Cancer

A funding of £420,000 has been granted to the University of Surrey for using nanotechnology for developing cancer treatments. Supported by the EU under the Marie Curie scheme, this funding is a part of the project ‘Multifunctional Carbon Nanotubes for Biomedical Applications’. Though carbon nanotubes are already being used in the field of engineering but up till now it has found very few applications with the biological systems. Still a lot needs to be achieved before new drugs are developed based on this technology and it is expected that in the future we would have better treatments for cancer. If an interaction between these two fields increases, definitely we would be able to develop effective treatment not only for cancer but also a host of other diseases.

Did you have genetically engineered eggs for breakfast?

Start having genetically engineered eggs for your breakfast as they can help in offering protection against cancer. The protein in these special eggs can help in creating cancer fighting drugs. The credit for these eggs goes to Roslin Institute which claims that it has developed five generations of eggs containing life saving proteins. Professor Harry Griffin, Director, Roslin Institute said: The idea of producing the proteins involved in treatments in flocks of laying hens means they can produce in bulk, they can produce cheaply and indeed the raw material for this production system is quite literally chicken feed. This can help in developing cheaper cancer fighting drugs but testing on human beings is still quite far off. Besides cancer this can protein can also help in fighting other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis and malignant melanoma. If human trials turn out to be successful then these eggs can be surely helpful in eradicating cancer from planet earth.

Genetic analysis can aid in cancer treatments

Do you know anything about genetic analysis? If no then let me tell you that it enables personalizing of pharma treatments of patients suffering from cancer and hence enhances the therapeutic effect and minimizes the possible toxicity as a result. University Hospital researchers along with Pharmacogenomics laboratory took the analyses predictive of responses to pharama drugs in patients suffering from lung cancer and sarcoma. Researches in the case of gene mutation of EGFR can help in determining the response of the tyrosine quinase inhibitors of the epidermic growth factor receptor. As of now the researchers are analyzing the genetic changes which can help in defining then parameters required for interpreting the best set of pharma drugs which could be effective on certain tumors. This can not only help in identification of treatments but also help in keeping a tab on the toxicity profile occurring with the aid of medicinal drugs.

Viruses – Element of natural selection of cancerous cells

Viruses have been the major life threatening microorganisms since time immemorial. All viruses are infective unlike all bacteria that can also be beneficial. Viruses are known to cause various types of cancers also such as Hodgkin’s, non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, cancers of the throat and liver. Viruses basically cause cancer by mutating a critical gene for replication in the host DNA leading to an uncontrolled cell division. A team of scientists led by Preet M. Choudhary, M.D., Ph.D., and professor of medicine at University of Pittsburgh have proposed that viruses in a way, act as elements of natural selection. The theory of natural selection put-forth by Charles Darwin can simply be stated as, fixation of a desirable mutation of a gene. Similarly, viruses have been found to kill normal cells that favour the replication of viruses, leaving behind the defective cells. Repetition of this process over and over causes cancer. ‘We believe, a separate mechanism may be at play in which a cellular insult, such as infection with the virus, selects a few pre-existing mutated clones of cells promotes their further growth and multiplication, eventually leading to the emergence of fully cancerous cells, consequently, similar to the role played by natural selection during evolution, excessive cell death, rather than its absence may be the defining force that drives the initial emergence of cancer,’ said Dr. Choudhary. Since, notably the cancerous condition arises from the ‘ashes’ of dead cells, Dr.Choudhary calls it ‘Phoenix Paradigm’. A study was conducted wherein, cells were infected with Kaposi’s sarcoma associated Herpes Simplex Virus (KSHV) also called Human Herpes Simplex Virus-8 (HHV-8) and examined the K13 cell-signaling pathway. They observed that cells with low K13 levels, favoured KSHV replication and subsequently died, but up regulating K13 gene expression in the existing cells and down regulating two key proteins involved in promoting cancer. Image via : CBCnews