“Cytotron stops the cancer tissue from multiplying. The device also inhibits it from spreading to other organs.”
Earlier this month, the ‘Cytotron,’ a medical invention by Dr Rajah Vijay Kumar, a Bengaluru-based scientist, received the honour of being called a ‘breakthrough device’ in cancer care by the Centre for Devices and Radiological Health, a branch of the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) responsible for the pre-market approval of all medical devices.
The machine, “intended to stop the cancer tissue from multiplying, growing and spreading,” is the outcome of 32 years of continuous research and has been designated as a breakthrough device since it is an entirely new way to treat cancer.
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Speaking to The Better India, Dr Kumar, who is the Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer at the Centre for Advanced Research and Development (CARD), a research wing under the Organization de Scalene Foundation, talked about the happiness and hope at receiving this letter of approval.
“It is something we have worked on for more than three decades, and research is still ongoing. Naturally, the process of developing any new medical device takes a long time taking into account the need for a lot of tests, addressing safety aspects and adverse effects. Nevertheless, in receiving the ‘breakthrough device’ designation from the USFDA, we feel that our work has been good enough. We hope it will also offer a breakthrough in the lives of cancer patients,” he says.
The Cytotron works on the tissue engineering principles of human cells, altering how certain proteins are regulated to prevent them from multiplying and spreading in case of cancer, or promote growth of cells where required, and is essentially a new way to think about repairing cellular disorders.
“We have moved away from ‘destroying, killing or obliterating cancer tissues’ to a method of communicating with the cellular command and control, and stop it from growing and spreading to other parts of the body. Cancer cells are cells that have just gone out of control. By appropriately addressing the right methodology and specific protein pathways, you can drive the cancer cells into old age, push them into accelerated ageing, and finally, apoptosis (programmed cell death). Once this stage is achieved, your body’s immune system takes over time and the cancer cells are recycled. This is the philosophy of Cytotron,” he argues.