BioDeakin researchers receive international funding to develop novel anti-cancer agent and anti-microbials
Fe-saturated lactoferrin as a potential alternative treatment for tumours and microbial infections:
Assoc Prof Jagat Kanwar and Dr Rupinder Kanwar have recently won a major grant from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research's Australia-India Strategic Research Fund. They will work with their Indian partner Professor Rakesh Sehgal from the prestigious, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India. The proposal seeks to study by applying innovative approaches, the preclinical efficacies of iron -saturated Australian bovine and Indian buffalo lactoferrin (red milk protein) preparations for the treatment of human colon cancer and anti-microbial (anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial) activities.
The focus of the project at ITRI will be to elucidate on a biochemical and molecular basis the efficacy of iron -saturated Australian bovine lactoferrin (red milk protein) in targeting colon cancer growth, angiogenesis, metastasis in cell based assays and most suitable mouse model of human colon carcinogenesis. Both Indian and Australian investigators will load the iron saturated lactoferrin to nanoparticles and carry out the in vitro and in vivo assays for anti-cancer and anti-microbial activities. Any advancement in improved efficacy of treatment for cancers and microbial infections will translate into reduced health care cost, better socioeconomic development and prosperity of Australia and India.
Significance and Innovation:
The funding will help to address an issue of major importance to human health in Australia and Worldwide. There is a pressing medical need for new and better treatments since the current treatments often lack efficacy in a large proportion of cancer patients and/or produce serious side effects. Multi drug resistance (MDR) is a common problem in colon cancer treatment and limits the success of long term chemotherapy and radiation therapy in cancer patients and microbial infections caused by various pathogens. Recently published and patented work by Australian investigators on the anti-tumour and immunomodulatory activities of iron saturated bovine lactoferrin indicate that it acts as a potent natural adjuvant and fortifying agent for augmenting cancer chemotherapy thus has broad utility in the treatment of cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18268518?ordinalpos=6&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum. However, studies with parasites are limited and there exists no such investigation from iron saturated bovine/buffalo lactoferrin preparations for an alternative treatment to chemotherapy for colon and for infectious parasitic and bacterial diarrhoea.