Chandigarh: In a good news for cancer patients, the Defence Research and Development Organization has developed a drug that will reduce the side effects of radiotherapy by almost 75 percent.
The news is a ray of hope for cancer patients who are undergoing radiotherapy and have to cope with severe side-effects like hair loss.
The drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2- DG), is not available in the market as it has yet to receive approval from the Directorate General of Health Services. As soon as the approval comes, the drug’s commercial production would start at a Hyderabad-based laboratory.
The drug has however successfully completed three phases of clinical trials.
The drug promises to combat the side-effects such as hair fall, nausea, loss of appetite and sleeplessness, if given before radiotherapy. The three clinical trials were carried out in eight cancer hospitals and research institutes.
"The drug has been tested on adult malignant cancer patients with success and it has been patented. The cancer cells start eating the analogue glucose, which does not provide energy like the real glucose cells in the blood. Consequently, it weakens the cancer cells. The radiation from the radiotherapy then destroys these weak cells easily without affecting the surrounding normal cells in the body,” W Selvamurthy, chief controller (R&D), DRDO told a national daily.
The structure of the drug is same as the blood glucose cells in a human body.
The drug has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
According to Dr V M Katoch, director of the ICMR, "This is a promising drug that will definitely make a significant contribution to the pharmaceutical market."