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Haridwar-based scientist claimed herbal breakthrough for Hepatocellular carcinoma
Hepatocellular Carcinoma has become the most common primary hepatic malignancy with average survival rates between six and 20 months, says a study. Liver cancer is also a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths each year. The report from the Central Drug Control (CDC) regarding Liver Cancer and Hepatitis says that data from liver cancer patients, taken from 2008 to 2012, showed increased incidence of an average of 2.3 percent per year overall. A Haridwar- based scientist has claimed to have made a major breakthrough in exploring the root cause of the disease. He has, further, claimed to have succeeded in identifying some herbal molecules that have potential to inhibit the specified pathway.
The research has been recommended to be included in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. Dr Hemanth Kumar Manikyam who is director of research and formulations Sanskriti health care has discovered that AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein) is not only a simple marker for the evaluation of hepatocellular carcinoma but also plays direct role in renewing metastatic cells and increases cell proliferation through specified pathway. Till now the direct role of AFP in hepatocellular carcinoma was never traced.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) now ranks sixth in the world among all malignancies, contributing to the third leading cause of mortality attributed to cancer. Incidence worldwide has increased possibly due to the rising incidence of chronic hepatitis B and C infections.
The biggest challenge for the oncologists is that the cancerous liver cells spread very fast and within six to 20 months, the patient succumbs to the disease. Speaking to The Pioneer, Dr Siddhartha, former medical oncologist Paras Hospitals Gurgaon said, “Attempts to treat HCC with liver transplantation has shown poor results. Hepatocellular carcinoma appears frequently in patients with cirrhosis. HCC has been treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy is only applicable in the context of palliative treatment. But this pathway by Dr Hemanth will lead to the treatment of liver cancer in new way.”
In an exclusive talk with The Pioneer, Dr Hemanth said, “In my present research under the guidance and support of Dean of Research Professor Sugathan Ratnamuthu from department of Chemistry of North East Frontier Technical University, Arunachal Pradesh, AFP plays key role in developing hepatocellular carcinoma and metastasis. We have identified that we can reduce AFP levels by inhibition of WNT, BETA CATENIN, LRH-1, FTF pathway. Soon we will be patenting the pathway and natural drugs designed by us.”
Notably, HCC is traditionally considered as a highly chemo-resistant tumor. However, conventional chemotherapy is still considered for palliation therapy, which may improve the patient’s quality of life. Among the chemotherapeutic drugs used in HCC, doxorubicin is one of the most commonly used, even though in up to 90% of cases it did not show response.
Furthermore, other investigated chemotherapeutic drugs such as capecitabine, mitoxantrone, placlitaxel, gemcitabine and irinotecan have failed to show promising results, say the scientists.
AFP was first identified as a serological marker for hepato-cellular carcinomas HCC and later for germ cell tumors. Through this study, a complete canonical pathway has come forth for liver cancer which could be useful for many researchers to identify potential drug targets to treat hepatocellular carcinoma and also reduce risk of drug resistance. Some natural or herbal molecules are also searched that inhibit the new targeted pathway and reduce AFP levels.
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