The world is experiencing a vicious covid 19 outbreak through these years. Scientists work hard on finding medical treatments not only for the covid-19 virus but also for cancer. Cancer is a group of diseases involving the unusual growth of cells and has the potential to invade and spread to other cells of the body. Nearly 20 million new cancer cases have been reported worldwide. There are major types of cancers such as carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma, and leukaemia. The treatments used so far have side effects like hair loss, appetite loss, anaemia etc. With scientific breakthrough now cancer also can be cured. Cancer patients have new hope for life. A “Trojan Horse” drug has been successfully tested by scientists of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland which can destroy cancer and bacteria cells. This drug is a combination of the cancer-killing molecule and a chemical food compound together called SeNBD. SeNBD, is a photosensitive drug that stimulates pernicious cancer cells to ingest it.
This contains a type of drug called photosensitizer, which means kills cells after it is activated by visible light. It is one of the smallest photosensitizers ever created. Surgeons can decide exactly where they want to treat and activate the drug. This avoids the possibility of destroying healthy tissues and prevent side effects, such as hair loss, caused by other anticancer agents.
Scientists used zebrafish and human cells to demonstrate its action and proved it kills cancer cells after absorbed by the cells. But researchers say that more studies are needed to carry out to confirm if this is a safe treatment to use in early-stage cancer without side effects.
SeNBD is compared to the “Trojan horse” drug as it affects as metabolic warhead. Trojan horse in Greek mythology is a hollow wooden statue of a horse in which the Greeks are said to have concealed themselves in order to enter Troy, pretending to desert the war. SeNBD also acts as a trick to enter the cancer cell.
Professor Marc Vendrell, from the University of Edinburgh, explained that: “This research represents an important step forward in the design of new therapies that can simply be activated by light irradiation, which is generally very safe. SeNBD is one of the smallest photosensitizers ever made and its use come “Trojan horse” opens up many new opportunities in interventional medicine to kill harmful cells without affecting surrounding healthy tissues ”.
Dr Sam Benson concluded that SeNBD can be used as a Trojan horse to enter the cell directly without trying to find a way to enter through cells’ defences. These findings are published in the journal Nature Communications. This is a huge leap in the medical sector and a great gift for all humankind.
Article by: Maneeshi Medagama
Faculty of Agriculture