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Deccan Herald » Living » Detailed Story
Technology to banish those wincing pains
Rotational field quantum magnetic resonance is a procedure that holds promise for the treatment of osteoarthritis, discovers Rashmi Rao.
 
Something intensely interesting in the field of tissue engineering is happening right here in Bangalore at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM). Clinical trials are on and once complete, this procedure can put India on top of the pedestal for treatment of osteoarthritis, one of the most painful and debilitating ailments, and cancer.

The procedure - rotational field quantum magnetic resonance (RFQMR) - is a technology that delivers highly complex quantum electromagnetic beams in sub-radio and near-radio frequency spectrum, says Wg Cmdr (Dr) V G Vasishta, professor and head of the Department of Radio Diagnosis, IAM. By using tissue engineering, the experiments by the institiute have made it possible to regenerate dying tissues, heal wounds, grow new blood vessels, grow new cartilage or even teach a lesson to cancerous cells that go into a multiplication spree.

Wg Cdr Vasishta who spoke to Deccan Herald said, “RFQMR is a new method used to alter the cytokinetics or cell division and proliferation process in biological tissues. The Centre for Advanced Research and Development (CARD) developed a ‘cytotron’ two years ago to deliver the RFQMR beams.

A patent confirmatory treaty was obtained last year. The focussed beams interfere with messages from the genes and alter cell dynamics such that it activates to reproduce in the case of osteoarthritis or destroys as is needed in cancer cases.”

Dr Vasishta added that normal, healthy cells are not affected in any way. “The procedure is non-invasive and holds a lot of promise in treatment of osteoarthritis and cancer, besides macular degeneration of the eye and tinitus (constant ringing in the ear),” he said.

The IAM which began the trials two years ago, sought local sanction to allow them to treat civilians. “We saw patients in acute distress and terminally ill people recover. We’re now in Phase-2 of our trials for arthritis and we are still documenting changes.

So far we have treated about 250 cases of arthritis with an excellent rate of success. Trials for arthritis will be completed late next year after which the procedure will be made available at select hospitals in the country,” Wg Cdr (Dr) Vasishta noted.

The institute has just begun Phase-1 for cancer treatment and has taken patients who have finished all surgical and oncological means and have been declared as terminally ill.

When asked why they chose to start work on treatment of arthritis and cancer, Wg Cdr Vasishta said, “We had heard of some experiments with tissue degeneration. During my MD, in the early 80s, MRI was new and experiments in Boston on rats had showed better bone reunion, but we in India couldn’t take it up then.”

A few years ago, Dr Vijayakumar, chief scientific officer, CARD (a co-investigator) and Wg Cdr Vasishta (the principal investigator in the project) took it up and the results will be there for all to see shortly. Other co-investigators include onco-surgeon Gp Capt Dr Rautray from Command Hospital and onco-pathologist Wg Cdr Ms R Madan.

Explaining their work so far, Wg Cdr Vasishta said, “Everything we deal with has an electro magnetic spectrum. All therapies for cancers deal with bombarding cancerous cells, but we induce a programmed non-toxic cell death. Again, we chose regeneration work on the cartilage in arthritis as no one had succeeded in this before and textbooks state that cartilage cannot regrow. So it was a big challenge.”

The treatment for osteoarthritis cases included half-hour RFQMR treatment everyday for three weeks. While a knee score of 25 after conventional knee surgery is considered a success, the team at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine recorded a knee score of 50 and above in patients they treated.

The day RFQMR is made available to thousands wincing in pain, will be the day the country will stand tall in the field of medicine. A miracle waiting to happen, did you say?

For details, write to vichie @sify.com
Comment on this article
 
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