University of Waterloo had discovered a new kind of molecules that can effectively kill the cancer cells while protecting the healthy cells. After the pre-clinical tests, the hopes are high that these newly discovered molecules can help cure common cancers such as breast, ovarian, lungs and cervical.
Named as nonplatinum-based halogenated molecules, these molecules is similar to Cisplatin which is actively used for chemotherapy, but Cisplatin is toxic to the healthy cells as well.
Cisplatin is both useful as it can destroy the cancer cells, but it is also destructive as it also kills the normal cells of the patient’s body. Also the infused platinum on the molecules causes severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, kidney damage and neurotoxicity.
University of Waterloo’s lead author of the research, Prof. Qing-Bin Lu, discovered the nonplatinum-based halogenated molecules while studying the how cancer starts and how DNA had been damaged. He shared that the usual cause of cancer are chemicals, smoking and radiation.
The team studied how the DNA is damaged to be able to develop treatments against cancer. To easily study the DNA’s, Professor Lu used the femtosecond time-resolved laser spectroscopy. This is a molecular filming technique that can help researchers study the DNA’s in real time. This shows how the cancer cells are formed.
The laser technique was fused with the cellular and molecular biological techniques termed as femtomedicine. Nonplatinum-based halogenated molecules was then discovered. It was also called as the FMD compound. They had seen that while it destroys the cancer cells as it entered the cell, it helps the healthy cells to produce glutathione, giving it protection.
Patents had been applied for the newly discovered molecules and Professor Lu is hoping to start clinical trials soon. He hopes that this will help save lives of cancer patients.