Seven molecules identified by a team of researchers of Pondicherry University in India have been shown to be more potent in treating blood cancer than existing drugs.
The molecules can address a type of blood cancer called chronic myelogenous leukemia, characterised by uncontrolled growth of white blood corpuscles (WBCs) in the bone marrow leading to imbalance in the total blood cell count in the body.
Using the molecules, the drugs manufactured were shown to arrest the progression of blood cancer by binding the enzymes in the bone marrow that lead to over-production of WBCs.
"These drugs will be at least twice more potent than the existing ones," said associate professor of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology R Baskaran , who led the study.
The findings come at a time when cancer patients have started showing resistance to existing drugs. The discovery could also lead to cheaper treatment, reports The Times of India.
Drugs like ponatinib, imatinib, dasatinib and nilotinib are at present being used to treat blood cancer.
CML accounts for 12% of all cancers in India. According to the Cancer Patients' Aid Association, almost 800,000 people suffer from this disease in the world and India accounts for 300,000 patients.
More than 20,000 new patients are identified every year in India.
The team submitted its findings to Nature: Scientific Reports which were accepted and are due for publication this week.