The Central AYUSH Department has recognised an ongoing cancer research project being conducted by Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala and sanctioned funds to raise the institution to a centre of excellence.
Arya Vaidya Sala will undertake a scientific revalidation of the positive results in cancer treatment it gained in the last 20 years with the support of modern research institutions. Arya Vaidya Sala has tied up with the MVR Cancer Centre and Research Institute (MVRCCRI), Kozhikode; Karpagam Academy of Higher Education (KAHE), Coimbatore; and JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (JSSAHER), Mysore.
A three-year study proposed as part of the new AYUSH project will see Arya Vaidya Sala focussing on lung cancer. Textbooks say that a lung cancer patient, if left untreated, can survive seven months. In the last 20 years, Arya Vaidya Sala saw many lung cancer victims survive several years. Out of the 400 cases it studied, about 200 lived for several years and had quality life.
“It will be a scientific revalidation of the treatment we have been giving in the last two decades for cancer patients,” said P.R. Ramesh, head of Clinical Research Department at Arya Vaidya Sala.
Since Arya Vaidya Sala started its cancer clinic in 1999, it used to treat 60 to 70 patients from different parts of the country every day. The patients reaching Arya Vaidya Sala belonged largely to four categories.
When the first group sought Ayurveda treatment against recurrence after conventional cancer treatment, the second group sought Ayurveda treatment as a last resort after trying out the conventional treatment. The third group seeking Ayurveda treatment was for side effects of chemo-therapy and radiation therapy, when the fourth group sought purely Ayurveda treatment.
Arya Vaidya Sala signed an agreement with MVRCCRI after it found positive results of the 20-year data it analysed. “In our treatment, many were found to have survived for several years… and they were found to have enjoyed quality life,” said Dr. Ramesh. “We could find several metabolically active cases becoming minimally active,” he said.
MVRCCRI will help Arya Vaidya Sala in clinical diagnosis and CT-guided biopsies. KAHE and JSSAHER will do animal studies and cell line studies. They will also help evaluate the toxicity and safety of the Ayurveda medicines used for cancer treatment.
While Arya Vaidya Sala’s Centre for Medicinal Plants Research (CMPR) will conduct chemical profiling of the medicines, its Research and Development wing will produce the medicines at its pilot plant. “It will be a thorough scientific revalidation,” said Dr. Ramesh.
Dr. Ramesh, who spent several years in collaborative cancer research with allopathic doctors, said that the new AYUSH project would be complementary in nature. “It will be complementary for allopathy and Ayurveda,” he said.
“Each cancer is different; and each body is different. That’s the basic approach we take in Ayurveda,” he said.
CMPR senior scientist C..T. Sulaiman, clinical research senior physician K. Mahesh, cancer clinic senior physician M. Praveen, product development head E.M. Anandan are part of the team Dr. Ramesh is leading.
Arya Vaidya Sala has invited medical consultants, junior research fellows, and technical assistants for the project. Details will be available at www.aryavaidyasala.com, or www.cmpr-avs.in. Applications should be sent before April 28.