Manama: Three women researchers from Saudi Arabia, Morocco and India have participated in a scientific research group that succeeded in developing nano-derived compounds to treat triple negative breast cancer, an intractable tumour that does not respond to conventional chemotherapy and has very little recovery rates among patients.
The findings of the research team demonstrated the success of nano compounds in transferring a medicinal compound containing turmeric, cannabis and tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the treatment of breast cancer.
The team, led by Dr Khaled Greish, Director of the Nano-research Unit at the Princess Al Jawhara Centre at Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain, included Reem Al Zahrani from Saudi Arabia, Sara El Kaissi from Morocco and Anchal Mathur from India.
The nano compound is additionally characterised by its ability to dissolve in water and immediately direct towards the tumour, thereby avoiding collateral damage resulting during the process of conventional chemotherapy, which leads to damage to other organs in the vicinity of the tumour.
The study was a joint effort by the team members, the university said in a statement.
Al Zahrani was involved in cell transplantation by taking cancer cells and testing manufactured nano compounds as well as natural medicine on them, measuring toxicity levels and their effectiveness on cancer cells.
El kaissi, a trainee, tested cancer control through drugs by introducing nanotechnology and testing it on cancer cells in mice. It was found that the nano compound reduces the size of cancer cell and has a better effect than the drug alone.
Mathur, also a trainee, tested the cannabis plant, which has proved through previous tests to combat cancer cells.
Laboratory experiments conducted on mice have shown that the nano compound did not attack the brain as strongly as the chemical compound used to combat cancer, thus neutralising collateral damage, the statement added.
“In general, we took the drugs available in hospitals used on cancer patients and naturally occurring compounds such as turmeric, and we formulated them in this chemical compound, which reaches tumours faster than conventional chemotherapy treatment drugs,” Al Zahrani said. “The results were positive and the chemical nano compound was more effective on cancerous tumours than all other treatments.”