New research identifies seven new molecules treat blood cancer

New research identifies seven new molecules to treat blood cancer

5:18 AM, 10th November 2014
New research identifies seven new molecules to treat blood cancer
The findings assume significance as CML patients have started showing resistance to the existing drugs.

PUDUCHERRY, INDIA: New research at Pondicherry University has claimed to have identified seven new molecules to treat a type of blood cancer (chronic myelogenous leukemia or CML). CML is a type of blood cancer characterized by uncontrolled growth of white blood corpuscles (WBCs) in the bone marrow leading to imbalance in the total blood cell count in the body.

The team consisting of R Baskaran, Assistant Professor; M Suresh Kumar, Assistant Professor and PhD scholars Hemanth Naick Banavath and Om Prakash Sharma. The team found that five of the seven yet-to-be-named new molecules (codenamed DB07107, DB06977, ST013616, DB04200, ST007180, ST019342 and DB01172) are more potent than the existing drugs such as ponatinib, imatinib, dasatinib and nilotinib available in the market to treat blood cancer.

“Drugs manufactured using these newly-identified molecules will be more effective than the existing drugs as they arrest the progression of CML by binding the enzymes in the bone marrow that lead to overproduction of WBCs. These drugs will be at least twice more potent than the existing ones,” said Baskaran.

The findings assume significance as CML patients have started showing resistance to the existing drugs. Moreover, the drugs manufactured using the new molecules are expected to be cheaper than the existing ones. CML patients are generally put under medication for a minimum period of five years. Some need life-long treatment.

The drug Imatinib costs around Rs 1.21 lakh per month for a patient while its subsidized versions (available in developing countries) cost between Rs 6,000 and Rs 12,000 per month. “Drugs manufactured using the new molecules will be relatively cheaper. May be a patient need not shell out more than Rs 3,000 per month,” said Baskaran.

The findings are slated to be published on November 10 in the international journal ‘Nature: Scientific Reports.’ The team has proposed to seek a patent for their findings shortly. CML accounts for 12 per cent of all cancers in India. According to Cancer Patients’ Aid Association (CPAA), approximately eight lakh people suffer from this disease in the world and India accounts for three lakh patients. More than 20,000 new patients are identified every year in India.

“The number of new CML patients will be much more than reported every year as there are no effective screening process to identify new cases,” said Baskaran.

 

© TimesOfIndia News

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