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Ayurvedic cure for chemotherapy side effects
Published on 3 Nov. 2008 11:53 PM IST
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India has patented an ayurveda medicine that promises to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy during cancer treatment and improve the blood platelet count among patients. The medicine, Medihope, made by a Pune-based manufacturer, was awarded the patent after it received favourable field results. It will be in the Indian market within a month. “We have found favourable results after at least 10 years of laboratory tests and later by conducting trials on over 2,000 patients,” said R.D. Katkar, chief executive of Hope Ayurvedic Medicine Private Ltd. Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is known to weaken the immune system, cause weight loss, decrease the hemoglobin percentage and blood platelet count. “Let me clarify that the medicine is not a cure for cancer but is an effective medicine to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and various radiation therapies used in cancer treatment,” Katkar told IANS. Katkar, who was in Delhi to participate in an ongoing annual traditional medicine fair in Delhi organised by the health ministry, said the intake of the medicine as a “supplement with cancer drugs expedites recovery”. He claimed that the composition produced from 12 medicinal plants helps increase the blood platelet count and hemoglobin percentage. It also reduces pain from chemotherapy. Bhupinder Singh, a doctor working at the company’s laboratory in Pune, said: “As a medical practitioner, I found the substance much helpful. Besides, there are other benefits like maintaining the white blood cell count and increase in the weight of patients.” Singh said the medicine available in powder form needs to be taken every morning by boiling it in water. “A cancer patient needs to take the medicine for a year,” he said, adding it would cost nearly Rs.60,000 for yearlong treatment. Katkar said India has already patented the product and the company has registered itself in 108 other countries for getting patents as a special ayurvedic medicine. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. The disease accounted for 7.9 million deaths in 2007. According to the WHO, cancer is one of the top 10 killers in India and it kills over 400,000 Indians every year. According to the National Cancer Registry, the incidence of cancer in India stands at 36.21 per 100,000 males and 45.02 per 100,000 females.

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