Alternative Anti-Cancer Therapy

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Research work is being carried out by an Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) faculty from the Department of Science & Technology (DST) on an Alternative Anti-Cancer Therapy (Anti-Angiogenic) using transgenic zebrafish.

INSPIRE

  • It is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the DST for attraction of talent to Science.
  • It was launched in the year 2008.
  • Main objective is to communicate with the youth of the country regarding the excitements of creative pursuit of science, attract talent to the study of science at an early age. Building the required critical human resource pool for expanding and strengthening the Science & Technology system and R&D base.

Angiogenesis

  • A physiological process.
  • Formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels.
  • Critical in the growth of cancer as tumours need blood supply to grow.
  • The growth of blood cells is triggered by the tumors by giving off chemical signals that stimulates angiogenesis.
  • After chemotherapy, inhibition of tumor angiogenesis has become a popular anti-cancer strategy.

Angiogenesis Inhibitors

Unique cancer fighting agents as they block the growth of blood vessels supporting tumor growth.

Limitation of Anti-Angiogenic Drugs

  • Due to parallel activation of various compensatory mechanisms, the clinically approved anti-angiogenic drugs are ineffective.
  • Involvement of cascade of molecules aids tumor angiogenesis along with the investigation of the mechanisms that essential for the development of anti-angiogenic therapies.

Transgenic Zebrafish Platform (TZP)

  • Work is being carried out to develop transgenic zebrafish which have exogenous genes added to their genome model using the CRISPR/Cas 9 gene-editing tool for studying the compensatory angiogenesis mechanism in tumor microenvironment.
  • Zebrafish Model has been selected for the study due to its rapid development, optically transparent, high yield in offspring along with easy techniques for forwarding and reversing gene manipulation.

Cancer

  • A large group of diseases that can be started in almost any organ or tissue of the body.
  • It is a condition in which abnormal cells grow uncontrollably.
  • Other common names for cancer are neoplasm and malignant tumor.
  • The most common types of cancer in men are Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer whereas among women breast, colorectal, lung, cervical and thyroid are the most common.
  • It is one of the leading causes of adult illness and death.
  • As per WHO, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally with 1.5 million cases in India alone out of 18 million cases globally.
  • Key risk factors are tobacco use, pollution, chronic infections, alcohol use, diet, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, etc.

Treatment Options

  • Surgery
  • Cancer medicines
  • Radiotherapy
  • Palliative care with focus upon improvement in the quality of life of patients and their families.

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