Hasini Jayathilaka, a Sri Lankan researcher and current post doctoral fellow in John Hopkins University, USA, has made a breakthrough in cancer research.
Tumor metastasis or spread of tumor cells to other organs is one of the causes of death in cancer patients. Unfortunately, no FDA approved therapeutics that directly inhibits metastasis or directly targets the spread of cancer has been invented till now.
Typically, cancer research and treatment have focused on shrinking the primary tumour through chemotherapy and other methods because many researchers believe metastasis happens after the primary tumor reaches a certain size.
The Sri Lankan researcher Hasini Jayatiloka recently invented that it is tumor cell density that determines when it would metastasize. This effect is popularly known as Hasini effect according to the name of the researcher. This effect has unveiled a new era in cancer research.
Hasini has also proved that inhibiting tumor progression by two interleukin receptor blockers would reduce the chance of metastasis and improve survival. These two interleukin receptor blockers are Tocilizumab and Reparixin. Tocilizumab is a drug commonly used in rheumatoid arthritis.
Surprisingly synergistic use of these two drugs would produce less toxicity and decreased chance of drug resistance. Definitely, this invention is incredible in cancer research.
* Nafisa Abedin is resident physician, Department of Pathology, BSMMU