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What’s Common between Dinosaur and Cancer?

Dinosaur is an unheard name and an unseen creature from ages. They have ruled the earth for at least 230 million years. They were considered as the most dangerous giant the planet had ever seen. Have you ever imagined what caused the extinction of this magnificent species? Let us leave aside the past for a while.

Cancer is a deadly and painful disease faced by humanity. It has caused many deaths. The cells of cancer have the potential to multiply over and over, leading to a severe medical condition. Are you wondering what made me jump from Dinosaurs to cancer all of a sudden?

Image Courtesy: Medical News Today

Let me help you connect the dots. The solution to these two deadly issues is the same thing. As per recent research, it has been found that cancer cells can be killed with metal from the asteroid which killed the dinosaurs. Allow me to introduce you to the metal – iridium.

The solution is found by the scientists from the University of Warwick in collaboration with a team from China, France, Switzerland, and Heriot-Watt University.

The current methods used to kill cancer tumours in the body rely on the presence of oxygen. However, these tumours are ‘hypoxic,’ which means they have a deficiency of oxygen. This deficiency is due to an inadequate supply of blood. To tackle this, scientists have come up with the compound iridium that will kill cancer cells even when the oxygen concentration is low.

Image Courtesy: Medical News Today

When the light is administered on a particular cancerous tissue, the iridium compound attacks a vital coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH). NADH is the powerhouse that charges the cancer cells. Cancer cells have a very high requirement of NADH because they need plenty of energy to grow, divide, and multiply. The activated light acts as a catalyst and destroys the co-enzymes or changes it into an oxidized form. This cuts off the energy-producing machinery of the cancer cells and leads to their destruction.

The technique can be used to treat cancer affecting the lung, bladder, brain, oesophagus as well as skin.

Scientists have observed that when cancer cells die, they modify their chemistry in such a way that they generate an immune reaction in the body of the patient. This is known as the immunotherapeutic response. This tells that all those who are treated by this technique might be immunized against an attack by cancer. This is something that scientists are investigating.

Our best wishes with the team to come up with the solution for the deadly disease. What are your views on this technique? We will be happy to brainstorm with you on Bots ‘N Brains

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