MUMBAI: A green revolution is underway at one of the world's longest laboratories located deep inside BARC's Anushakti Nagar complex near Chembur. Scientists are using Indian herbs and spices to develop anti-cancer and other drugs that will be affordable and have fewer side-effects.
Rampatri— better known as `false nutmeg' and widely used in Goan and
Mangalorean cuisine—is a case in point. Scientists from BARC's
bioscience group have developed a chemotherapeutic drug that has, in
studies on mice, shown potency against lung cancer
and neuroblastoma (a rare pediatric cancer in which cancer cells grow
in the nerve cells of the adrenal glands, neck, chest, and spinal cord).
Herbal drugs have fewer or no side-effects and are less expensive.
"Moreover, the phytochemicals we develop as adjuvant drugs enhance the
efficacy of other drugs and boosts the immune system to minimize the
drug dosage," Dr Chattopadhyay said.