Indian scientists identify molecule to help cancer treatment

A team of Indian researchers, led by Dr Sathees C Raghavan of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have identified a molecule which they claim will revolutionise the cure for cancer. The molecule has been named after "Sathees as SCR7" and a detailed account of it has been carried in the international scientific journal "Cell."

"The discovery could be a major step in improvement of the existing regimens for cancer treatment," Sathees, an Assistant Professor of IISc, told reporters here yesterday. "We hope that this discovery represents a milestone in development of new generation drugs to treat cancer," Sathees, who hails from Kannur district in Kerala, said.

Scientists world over believe that the double-strand break (DSB) of DNA is one of the most lethal form of DNA damage, resulting in drastic consequences such as genome instability, and cancer. DSB is primarily repaired by two pathways, homogeneous recombination and non-homogeneous end joining, which was considered as a major route for the repair of DSBs in humans, he said. The inhibitor SCR7 targets non-homogeneous end joining and offers a strategy towards the treatment of cancer, he said.

"In our extensive scientific investigation carried out at IISc-Bangalore, we have successfully reported that SCR7 prolonged survival by either inducing tumour regression or inhibiting tumour growth in three out of the four tumour mice models tested", he said. When co-administered with the DSB-inducing treatment modalities such as radiation or chemotherapeutic agents, SCR7 could prove effective even on unresponsive tumours. The team that made the discovery included researchers from IBAB, Bangalore, KLE College of Pharmacy, Bangalore and ACTREC, Mumbai.

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