GUWAHATI, Dec 6 - Dr Deepak S Chauhan and colleagues from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay have been chosen for the Cancer Research Foundation, India (CRFI) Best Research Award-2018.
The award carries cash prize and a citation. Dr Chauhan and his research team from IIT-Bombay have synthesised polymer gold nanoparticles heated by near-infra red light for killing cancer cells. They have collaborated with the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai for their research.
According to Dr Mouchumee Bhattacharyya, vice-chairperson and head of the Scientific Advisory Committee, CRFI, the use of nanotechnology or targeted nanoparticles in the treatment of cancer has opened a new vista in the field of oncology, including the possibility of destroying cancer cells with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue and organs.
Use of conventional cancer chemotherapy distributes the chemotherapeutic drug non-specifically in the human body. Thus these drugs affect both cancerous and normal cells. Earlier, the major challenge for using nanotechnology was that, nanoparticles degrade before they can deliver the intended drug to destroy cancer cells.
However, using near-infra red light heating technology, researchers from IIT-Bombay have overcome this problem. They have named this nanoparticle as Toco-Photoxil and have successfully tested it on animals.
Dr Manigreeva Krishnatreya, general secretary of CRFI, said that Toco-Photoxil could be used in cancer patients only after safely conducting Phase-I clinical trial to translate the new technology to treat cancer patients in the real-world settings. Further, the new nanoparticle is inert and biodegradable, which makes it safe for use in human beings, he said.