Source: Gulf News Newspaper
Sharjah: Research at the University of Sharjah into the possible cure for breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease has attracted international attention and pre-clinical trials on animals could begin soon, researchers said yesterday.
Researchers have taken a "significant step", said Chancellor Prof. Samy A. Mahmoud of the University of Sharjah, noting that they had gained some good leads into what triggers some enzymes that cause cancers and Alzheimer's disease.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in the UAE, not traffic accidents or heart diseases, said the researchers. Ra'afat Al Awadi, Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacology said, "Records at Al Tawaam Hospital in Al Ain show that cancer is the main killer in the country and we have identified some compounds that are active against breast cancer".
About 500 people die in the UAE every year due to cancer and millions of dirhams are spent to treat advanced cases of cancer in the country. Of the cancers, breast cancer is the most common malignancy.
The Chancellor said millions of dirhams have been allocated for the research and that future research will look into other diseases.
"Sharjah and the UAE are moving in step with the rest of the world in trying to combat diseases. The pre-clinical trials will be done in coordination with top international institutions in the US, France, Japan and Australia. There's nothing like the research being done here in the rest of the region," he said.
The research has been ongoing over the past two years, but only recently was a significant milestone reached when researchers identified some chemicals that attack the enzymes in the body which cause diseases.
Pre-clinic trials are also expected to begin very soon for compounds to fight against Alzheimer's. While there are no figures about the prevalence of this disease, in the US 5.3 million are affected by the debilitating memory loss caused by the disease. Millions are also affected by Alzheimer's in Europe and Japan, said Dr Taleb Al Tel, Chairman of Medicinal Chemistry at the University. He said there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's.