A varsity in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh claims to have achieved a major breakthrough in the field of cancer treatment by discovering “anti-cancer” molecules.

Researchers at the Bhopal-based Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) believe that their discovery would help fight the deadly disease in an effective manner. The discovery is inspired from the healing properties of curcumin, also known as turmeric.

Turmeric is a spice which is commonly available in Indian households. It is widely known for its antiseptic properties and is administered to patients for treatment of a number of common ailments, including the common cold.

Professor Piyush Trivedi, RGPV's Vice Chancellor says that the team studied the properties of turmeric for 10 continuous years before discovering a molecule with anti-cancer properties. During the pre-clinical trials, the researchers were able to successfully eliminate different types of cancer cells using the recently-identified molecule.

“It is novel and unique in a sense that unlike other cancer drugs, that have major side-effects especially when one undergoes chemotherapy. This molecule targets and destroys only cancerous cells and caused no damage to other vital cells of the body,” said Trivedi, reports The Times of India.

The two new molecule code named CTR-17 and CTR-20 work by obstructing cancer cell division by inhibition of a protein named tubulin. The protein is responsible for carrying out a number of important functions in the cells, including separation of chromosomes during cell division.

CTR-17 and CTR-20 target only the cancer cells and does not affect or damage other surrounding cells. This is opposite to the traditional treatment methods involving anti-cancer drugs and chemotherapy.

The team has already applied for a US patent for the discovery of the two new anti-cancer molecules, reports The Hindu. In addition to the two molecules, the team has identified 22 other molecules that could provide a major breakthrough in the field of cancer treatment.

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