‘Happy hormone’ can kill cancer tumours, discover Kol-born scientists
KOLKATA: A 14-year study by two Kolkata-born scientists has led them to discover that dopamine -known as the happy hormone -can also kill tumours, putting them on the verge of one of the most significant medical discoveries ever.
Trials on mice have been successful, say researchers Partha Dasgupta and Sujit Basu. If human trials succeed, cancer cure will get significantly cheaper -a chemo course costs lakhs, while a vial of dopamine comes for just Rs 25.
Dasgupta is an emeritus professor with Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Institute and Basu, a professor at Wexner Medical Centre, Ohio State University. Like penicillin -said to be the biggest medical discovery in history -the cancer-killing property of dopamine was discovered almost by accident, when the duo was carrying out random tests to analyze the hormone.
opamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate movement and emotions. The duo says it also starves cancerous tumours of blood, causing them to shrink and eventually vanish. “Tumour cells multiply rapidly, making them swell very fast. We concluded that if the growth of blood vessels can be checked, tumours will stop growing and disappear. In animal-model experiments, we observed that dopamine acted very well on cancerous tumours, effectively countering vascular endothelial growth factor (that helps tumours grow),” said Dasgupta.
But dopamine fluctuation could lead to serious disorders like Parkinson’s disease. “We need to know more about its efficacy in the long-run,” said oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay.