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CCRAS approves 2 cancer drugs for trials, open to examine more drug claims

Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
Thursday, April 7, 2011, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) has in principle approved a couple of Ayurvedic drugs used by some prominent practitioners to successfully treat the cancer patients and is planning to launch the multi-centric clinical trials. The Council also disclosed that it was open to examine other such claims with regard to ongoing successful treatment of critical diseases by Ayurvedic practitioners.

On the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Committee (Ayurveda), the CCRAS has initiated the study of ‘CARCTOL’ a proprietary medicine of Vaid Nand Lal Tiwari of Jaipur supposed to have anti-cancer properties. For verifying the therapeutic claim, standardization work has been completed by the Council. Safety and toxicity studies have also been completed, sources said.

“CARCTOL has also been subjected to in-vitro study at Advanced Cancer Research Centre of TATA, Mumbai against 14 types of human cancer cells out of which it was found effective against pancreatic and lung cancer. It was placed on record that CARCTOL is being used for treatment of cancer patients both in the country and abroad. After preparation of dossiers, multi-centric clinical trials will be conducted,” sources in the Council said.

Pre-clinical study of ‘Cancer Gaza Kesari’ a proprietary drug of Vaid Krishan Gopal of Ajmer has also been conducted by the Council in collaboration with Veterinary College, Chennai. The study revealed that the drug significantly reduced the mammary tumour incidence, latency, frequency, rate of growth and malignancy. It was also subjected to in-vitro study against 14 types of human cancer cell line, out of which it has shown to be of effective against pancreatic and lung cancer, Council official said.

A pilot project was sanctioned by the Ministry in 1996 to study the effects of metal based formulations prepared by Vaid Balendu Prakash of Dehradun in the treatment of Acute pro-myllolic Leukaemia. The drug was patented jointly by the Council with Germany. Vaid Balendu Prakash has been treating cancer patients with the drug and the patent was in fact for the process. “So far only a pilot study of 21 patients has been conducted by the Council. Multi- cultural clinical trials of the drug were to be undertaken which would take four years,” sources said.

In another effort to develop ayurvedic drug for cancer, clinical trials of 'AYUSH QOL – 2C' developed by Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) for improvement of quality of life of those receiving chemotherapy/radio-therapy, have been initiated at St. Johns medical college, Bangalore and at the All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. The ethical approval and release of funds for trials at AIIMS have been completed and the registration of patients will begin shortly. Simultaneously, 10 patients have been enrolled for study at St. Johns Medical College.

“Whenever any claim is submitted to Council, the same is examined and put before Scientific Advisory Committee to carry out scientific validation. In this context, two claims on cancer have been subjected to pre-clinical studies based on which clinical trial will be carried out as per lead. If any drug is finally marketed, the benefit will be shared by Council and the claimant,” sources said about possibility of examining claims by practitioners.


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