The IIT Hyderabad team develops a new method to treat cancer

HYDERABAD: In an important development, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, discovered that adding light and heat to cancer chemicals will help treat cancers . Until now, cancer patients have been treated with chemotherapy in which powerful chemicals are used to kill cancer cells.

The study found that adding light and heat or photothermal therapy to chemotherapy will help eliminate cancerous or malignant cells, providing relief to patients. Called a combination therapy, the cancer treatment model involves photo (light) and heat (thermal), in addition to the usual chemicals (chemotherapy). This provides the much-needed synergistic impact for cancer treatment that is currently being followed worldwide. In addition, the chemical used in chemotherapy by the IIT team is derived from natural sources and, therefore, has a small negative impact.

The IIT Hyderabad team collaborated with their counterparts at IIT Bombay and Bose Institute, Kolkata, in the development of the new cancer treatment regimen. During the investigation, the team discovered that a synergistic combination of photothermal therapy and chemotherapy has proven effective in fighting cancer cells. The result of the research was published in the recent issue of the scientific journal Nanoscale.

Combination therapy, which combines more than one therapeutic procedure, is increasingly considered for the treatment of cancer because it can treat the heterogeneity (different varieties) of cancer cells in addition to providing synergistic therapeutic effects, said Dr. R Aravind Kumar , assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering, IIT, Hyderabad. The team consisted of A Tejaswini, P Deepak Bharadwaj, Rafiq Ahmad Khan, Syed Baseeruddin Alvi, Rohit Srivastava, Mahadeb Pal and Nooruddin Khan, in addition to Aravind Kumar.

While chemotherapy involves the use of chemicals, in photothermal therapy, the material that converts light into heat is directed to the tumor. Destroy cancer cells. The team used an iodide dye (IR780) to kill the malignant cells.

By stating that the development of specific effective therapies for cancerous tissues without damaging the surrounding healthy cells remains the final challenge in the battle against cancer, the IIT team said that current methods of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy also negatively affect healthy tissues. The combination of photothermal and chemotherapy is very promising to improve therapeutic benefits with minimal or no side effects in cancer patients, they said.