Thursday, May 21, 2009

DRDO Provides Good News for Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy

A new breakthrough by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
may finally provide them some relief from the serious side effects of ionising radiation that's given to them during the treatment process. The DRDO has developed a herbal substitute for the "only effective'' but toxic chemical radio protector, given to patients to minimise the harmful
side effect of ionising radiations. The herbal radio protector is developed from two plants found in the Himalayan region. Following the encouraging pre-clinical trial results in animals, DRDO is all set to conduct human trials. "The herbal radio protector has no side effects and is found to give 100% protection against harmful side effects of ionising radiation. The only chemical radio protector available in the world is highly toxic. If human trials are successful, then it will replace the chemical radio protector. DRDO got the approval from Drug Controller General of India for human trials two months ago . The human trials will be conducted on cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy at Army Research and Referral Hospital and All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). DRDO's main aim is to develop a herbal radio protector that can be given to ionising radiation victims in case of a nuclear war or accidental exposure. "In case of a nuclear attack or accidental radiation exposure, the rescue team can be given herbal radio protector to prevent them from radiations. The damages can be minimized in victims post-exposure. In animal trials, we have seen that it can protect up to 6 gray,'' Beside this ,ionising radiation exposure during one radiotherapy session is 2 gray. source of the herbal radio protector are two herbal plants---Podophyllum .The two plants Hexandrum and Hippophae rhamnoides are found in the Himalayan region and are said to be rich source of anti-oxidants. "During radiotherapy a lot of free radicals are formed in the body which can have damaging effect on other body parts. The herbal radio protector will release anti-oxidants and remove free radicals thereby reducing oxidative stress.

DRDO has been working on the project for the past five years and has successfully conducted all the safety, efficacy and dose calculation trials. It has spent close to Rs 80 lakh on the project.

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