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New compound can make cancer cells commit suicide


Washington: A group of researchers has found a compound which can kill cancer cells without harming the healthy cells present in our body.

The new treatment is directed against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells but may also have the potential for attacking other types of cancers.

According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and killed more than 8.8 million people in 2015.

Researchers say that this compound can be very useful for a country like India, which is seeing a growth in cancer cases.

This disease involves abnormal growth of cells that have the potential to spread in different parts of the body and kill all the healthy cells.

While talking about the research, Evripidis Gavathiotis, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and of medicine and senior author of the study, said, “We’re hopeful that the targeted compounds we’re developing will prove more effective than current anti-cancer therapies by directly causing cancer cells to self-destruct. Ideally, our compounds would be combined with other treatments to kill cancer cells faster and more efficiently — and with fewer adverse effects, which are an all-too-common problem with standard chemotherapies.”

Every year nearly 25,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in India and around 9000 of these have leukaemia.

According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Cancer cases in India are expected to jump from around 14 lakh in 2016 to over 17.3 lakh by 2020.

While deaths due to cancer are projected to go up from 7.36 lakh to over 8.8 lakh in the next four years.