16-year-old Krtin Nithiyanandam says he has found a way to treat the deadly triple negative breast cancer. The boy from Epson, Surrey in UK claims that he has found a way to make the disease respond to drugs which it currently doesn’t. Krtin, who moved to UK with his parents from India, has been shortlisted to showcase his therapy idea at the finals of the UK-based young scientists programme ‘The Big Bang Fair.’
Having already won the Google Science Fair in 2015 for creating a test which detects the chances of Alzheimer’s disease a decade before it starts developing in people, Krtin has put another feather in his cap by possibly finding a way to break the incurable disease. The Telegraph reported that “many breast cancers are driven by oestrogen, progesterone or growth chemicals so drugs that can block those fuels, such as tamoxifen, make effective treatments. However, triple negative breast cancer does not have receptors and it can only be treated with a gruelling combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy which lowers the chance of survival.”
Krtin says he has found a way to make them more receptive. In the interview with the Telegraph he said, “Most cancers have receptors on their surface which bind to drugs like Tamoxifen but triple negative don’t have receptors so the drugs don’t work. The prognosis for women with undifferentiated cancer isn’t very good so the goal is to turn the cancer back to a state where it can be treated. The ID4 protein actually stops undifferentiated stem cell cancers from differentiating so you have to block ID4 to allow the cancer to differentiate. I have found a way to silence the genes that produce ID4 which turns cancer back into a less dangerous state.”
“Nearly 7500 women are affected with cancer yearly and the triple negative cancer is one of the deadliest forms as it is not treatable to drugs as the cells do not respond to drugs. It can only be treated through other forms like radiation, chemotherapy and surgery or at times a combination of the three which makes it a lot more stressful and at times, also lowers the positive results to a great extent. According to research so far, of the women diagnosed with the form of breast cancer, those who were cured of it formed less than 50 percent. While women begin to respond at times, the intensive radiation and chemo can have negative effects and cause many side effects instead of just curing the disease. Krtin claims that the women with this form of breast cancer will also start responding to drugs and not have to rely on other forms of treatment,” india.com reported.
The publication also reported how Krtin plans to execute the treatment. “Krtin’s technique increases the activity of the tumour suppressor called PTEN and the increase in PTEN also helps improve the chemotherapy results. The body responds more positively to the treatment and cancer can be cured. The technique he has developed does not eliminate the need for chemotherapy but then, it combines the use of chemo with drugs which means that the dual treatment can work and in hand and provide better results. His drug will be delivered through RNA which is a messenger particle which carries the instructions issued by the DNA. Krtin’s therapy will be administered in the form of nanoparticles. This particle can either repress or boost gene activity and make the cell more receptive to drugs,” the report said.
Krtin has spoken at TEDx and already has a few plans for the future. The Telegraph reported that “Krtin has so far been working on the therapies in his school lab and at home but he is hoping to gain interest from the scientific community to develop the work further.”