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Cure to Cancer possible by exploiting immune system –Expert

Human body's immune system can cure cancer: Prof Kurosawa of Japan

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 08:00 IST
Our Bureau, Chennai

The most promising treatment for cancer is possible if the potential of human body's immune system is fully exploited, according to professor Kurosawa, antibody research expert in Fujita Health University, Japan. He was speaking at the International Stem Cell meeting organized by the Chennai-based Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), as part of its fifth anniversary.

"The cancer cells when develop in our body, they are sensed by the immune cells based on their non-self (foreign body) nature. This foreign body nature is represented by some specific proteins in the cancer cells called antigens and each type of cancer may express different types of such antigens. If we develop antibodies or antagonists which can suppress or help destroy these antigens, then the control or destruction of cancer is easier," he said.

Kurosawa said till date several antibody based drugs have been approved in the west and his team has developed more than fifty such antibodies against human cancers. When the antibody based approach is combined with the cell based immunotherapy such as autologous immune enhancement therapy, the efficiency of destroying the cancer cells becomes more significant. This is something like first identifying and targeting the anti-social elements (cancer cells) and then specifically destroying them using the commando squad (NK cells and Lymphocytes), he explained.

Dr Satoshi Kuroda of Hokkaido University shared his findings on the treatment of cerebrovascular stroke, otherwise called "brain attack", using autologous bone marrow stem cells.

Dr Manikantan of the consortium on Dental Stem Cell Research affiliated to NCRM, presented his findings of collection, transportation and expansion of dental pulp derived stem cells, the first such experience in India.

Dr Krishnamohan of Institute of Child Health said the enteric neuronal cells could be cultured jointly with NCRM and has a great potential for treating Hirschsprung's disease patients.

The scholars of the training programme in Regenerative Medicine (TPRM) an affiliate of Toronto University, Mac Master University and Ottawa University which is conducted at NCRM ,were awarded the Diplomas by professor Kurosawa during the valedictory session.

Director of NCRM, Dr Abraham, in his speech highlighted the achievements of NCRM including India's first patent on polymer based Corneal Stem Culture with Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai and successful cell based immune treatment of several cancer patients, using their own immune cells with excellent results.

The consul general of Japan at Chennai Kazuo Minagawa distributed the prizes to winners of the Fujio Cup Quiz, an all India quiz competition on stem cells conducted for the fifth time consecutively named after the renowned Japanese Physician Dr Fujio Takayama. The first prize and the prestigious ever-rotating Fujio cup went to the team from Christian Medical College, Vellore.

- Courtesy Pharma Biz , 13th October 2010 issue..
*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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