“It will take about five years for this discovery to translate into a viable cancer treatment through gene therapy”

IFI16, a recently discovered molecule in human cells, may hold the key for curing cancer, Bala Chandran, professor from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, USA, said on Wednesday.

It will take about five years for this discovery to translate into a viable cancer treatment through gene therapy, Dr. Chandran, also director of H.M. Bligh Cancer Research Laboratories, Chicago Medical School, said, while delivering the second Dr. M.V.N. Shirodkar Memorial Lecture conducted by Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences at the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).

“IFI16 helps in identifying harmful foreign bodies in the cell.

But we have found that cancer causing viruses have evolved over a period of time and are now using this molecule to survive and propagate. By modifying this molecule, we can increase the effectiveness of gene therapy in stopping the cancerous growth in the cells,” Dr. Chandran said .

New understanding

The new understanding of the way viruses replicate themselves in the human body can also usher in newer forms of vaccines that can offer protection from dreaded diseases and research on IFI16 molecule is in advanced stages, he said.

Like human beings, viruses too have evolved over thousands of years and discovery of new viruses are being made regularly.

“Vaccines have been successfully created for diseases caused by viruses that have fewer varieties.

We could not create vaccines for those ailments like common cold, which are caused by about 150 different variants of viruses,” he pointed out.

Antibiotic overdose dangerous

Dr. Chandran also cautioned that antibiotic overdose was very common in India and that it can be very dangerous for the human body.

Human body maintains colonies of bacteria and virus that helps in several body functions and by using antibiotics there was a danger of wiping away good bacteria. An overdose always results in adverse effects.

Ability to survive

“The problem is that only good bacteria are wiped off and the harmful ones tend to evolve and get resistance from antibiotics. It is this ability to survive and replicate that makes these viruses dangerous for human body,” he explained.

Immunity

For increasing body immunity one should take antioxidants and vitamin C regularly.

“By taking fresh lime juice and eating leafy vegetables in raw salads, one can easily boost his or her immunity,” Dr. Chandran added.


  • “Cancer-causing viruses have evolved and are now using this molecule to survive”

  • “By modifying this molecule, we can to stop cancerous growth in cells”


  • IFI16 helps in identifying harmful foreign bodies in the cell and increase the effectiveness of genre therapy