Ray of hope in new drugs for cancer patients

These drugs are neither known nor widely used by the patients.
Chennai: In what could be of some relief to cancer patients, oncologists launched ten ‘targeted drugs,’ which will not harm the normal tissues or cause hair fall. The drugs, which will help improve the quality of life, besides prolonging survival, are to be used as standard protocol by all oncologists across India. These drugs, though selectively used by oncologists since the last two years, are neither known nor widely used by the patients.
“Yes, some of them do cause side effects like vomiting or nausea. But these are recognisable and manageable. These are targeted drugs and they do not touch the normal tissue or cause hair to fall,” said Dr. Anita Ramesh, professor of medical oncology, Saveetha medical college and founder and managing trustee, freedom from cancer and relief research foundation.
Nivolumab, Olaparib, Prembrolizumab, Idelalisib, Belinostat, Ceritinib, Afatinib, Axitinib, Pertuzumab and Ibrutinib are the new drugs which have shown to improve quality of life and extend survival chances.
About 60 senior oncologists besides 90 junior oncologists discussed the efficacy of these drugs at the fourth International meeting on clinical practice guidelines in oncology 2015 held here Thursday.
These advanced medicines, which are newly approved and launched by Dr Anita Ramesh, are used to treat cancers of lung, kidney, blood and breast.
“The aim of introducing this range of drugs is to ensure the oncologists across India maintained a uniform standard in treating cancer patients.
In addition to the doctor who prescribes these medicines we have trained the nurses on handling the administration of the drugs,” says Dr T. Gunasagaran, dean, Saveetha medical college. The patients who import them from Australia or the US have to pay the customs duty and personally collect them at the airport.
“These have been found effective in prolonging the lives of 4th stage cancer patients by about three years and offers good results in cased diagnosed early,” Dr Gunasagaran added. India gets eight lakh new cancer cases per year.
Though India has a lower incidence of cancer than the global average, the country sees about eight lakh new cancer cases every year in addition to 24 lakh prevalent cases. There is no uniform standardised strategy for cancer prevention and there is no education on risk factors, early symptoms and their management.
Therefore cancer detection and diagnostic facilities have to be made available at medical colleges and district level hospitals for management of all early common cancers, according to Dr Gunasagaran.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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