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Arginine, a new breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 15.05.10

Mumbai, May 15 (PTI) : Arginine, a common dietary amino acid, has been found to act as an effective anti-cancer molecule if used in proper dose in an alkaline medium, and can prove to be a natural alternative to painful chemotherapy, scientists at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) have said.

This anti-cancer property of ACP eliminates cancer chemotherapy-associated adverse side effects and the frequent development of multi-drug resistance. At the same time it does not have any toxic effect on normal cells, he said in the latest issue of 'The Open Cancer Journal', an international publication where these findings were carried.

Arginine when injected in proper doses and in alkaline environment (pH value around 9.5) leads to speedy disruption of tumor cells and results in disappearance of the tumour, Poduval along with his team of PhD students--Jyoti Shukla and V S Thakur, who were working on the anti-cancer molecule project for the last three years, said.

Poduval said it was for the first time, that properties of Agrinine were found to disrupt the cell membrane of cancer cells in an alkaline medium, and this will go a long way in the non-invasive treatment of cancer.

Arginine is very cheap (around Rs 20-25 per gm ) as compared to chemotherapy, which is costs lakhs.

Since this molecule is known to the human body, it should be considered for clinical trials, Poduval, who has been working on various aspects of Arginine for a decade, and on its anti-cancer properties since three years, said.

He said successful studies of Arginine have been carried out in mice and on three human cell lines---breast cancer, lung cancer and intestinal cancer.

However, it is important to prepare a proper design for protocol to conduct clinical trial and we hope that hospitals like Tata Memorial will come forward to take this simple formula to the people across the country, he said.

As Arginine produces nitrogen oxide (NO) it helps in smooth flow of blood and thus boosts the immune response, Poduval said.

Arginine is also found in several food items. It is also prescribed in form of tablets for sexual and cardiac dysfunctions. It is a small nutrition molecule which is stable, soluble, least bio-available.

The scientists, however asserted that there has been no anti-cancer formulation so far which is effective for the treatment of the deadly disease using an endogenous molecule.