A team of Indian scientists from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School has made an important breakthrough by developing a nano-technology which will help monitor the effectiveness of cancer therapy within hours of treatment.
The technology first delivers an anticancer drug to the tumour and if the tumour starts dying or regressing, it starts lighting up the tumour in real time.
According to Shiladitya Sen Gupta, a principal investigator at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), "We have developed a nano-technology, which first delivers an anticancer drug specifically to the tumour, and if the tumour starts dying or regressing, it then starts lighting up the tumour in real time… This way you can monitor whether a chemotherapy is working or not in real time, and switch the patients to the right drug early on. One doesn't need to wait for months while taking a toxic chemotherapy only to realise later and after side effects that the drug hasn't worked," Gupta, a co-corresponding author of the breakthrough research published online this week in 'The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.
Gupta is a co-corresponding author of the breakthrough research published online in ‘The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’. The first author of the paper is also an Indian-origin researcher Ashish Kulkarni. Speaking on the innovation, Kulkarni said by using this approach, the cells light up the moment a cancer drug starts working, "We can determine if a cancer therapy is effective within hours of treatment. Our long-term goal is to find a way to monitor outcomes very early so that we don't give a chemotherapy drug to patients who are not responding to it”.
Other Indian-origin researchers, who participated in this novel research include Poornima Rao, Siva Natarajana, Venkata S Sabbisetti, Yashika Khater, Navya Korimerla, Vineethkrishna Chandrasekara and Raghunath A Mashelkar.