Indian researchers from ACTREC unveil groundbreaking therapeutic agent for a range of diseases

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Research from India’s Tata Memorial Centre suggests that free radicals (ROS) generated upon mixing two nutraceuticals–resveratrol and copper–can help ameliorate various diseases by inactivating cell-free chromatin particles.

The chromatin is a mixture of proteins and DNA that forms the structure of the chromosomes within the nucleus of the cell. Cells that die release “cfChPs”, or cell-free particles of chromatin, into the bloodstream. Recent evidence suggests that cfChPs can have toxic effects on healthy cells by damaging their DNA and activating proinflammatory processes. Researchers at the Tata Memorial Centre in India’s Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer, ACTREC, recently demonstrated that a prooxidant mixture containing resveratrol, copper, and R-Cu, was beneficial to patients undergoing chemotherapy for advanced stomach cancer. Combining R and Cu (RCu) can lead to the production of free oxygen radicals that can inactivate cfChPs.

Professor Indraneel Mitchell, Dr Ernest Borges chair in translational research and Professor Emeritus at TMC/ACTREC Department of Surgical Oncology, explains how his team launched a phase II single-arm clinical trial to investigate the effect of R Cu in reducing toxic side effects of chemotherapy through cfChP activation in advanced gastric carcinoma patients undergoing docetaxel based multi-agent chemotherapy. They also used a grading scale for assessing unwanted physiological

R-Cu reduced non-haematological toxicity, such as diarrhoea and vomiting, but did not reduce haematological toxicity. R-Cu also reduced docetaxel compared to control without affecting overall survival.

The Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India supported this study through its grant CTCTMC awarded to Tata Memorial Centre and Prof. Mittra.

Two studies conducted by Prof. Mittra’s group using mouse models demonstrated the benefits of R Cu administration in the prevention and treatment of sepsis and ageing. R-Cu administration for a prolonged period of time can reduce the biological markers of ageing such as neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s. In the second study, cfChPs were found to trigger sepsis in mice after bacterial infections. R-Cu was administered and this prevented this pathological reaction.

The group has also carried out human studies. Their previous work suggested that cfChPs, released by dying cancer cells, enter the surrounding cancer cells and trigger DNA damage, inflammation and contribute to their aggressive behavior. These effects could be mitigated with R-Cu. R-Cu treatment reduced the severity of grade 3/4 mucositis, and levels of inflammatory protein (or “cytokines”) found in serum and saliva. This was observed after patients received high-dose melphalan to treat plasma-cell cancers.

Dr Mittra who is the author of this article concludes


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