Do you remember exactly what you were doing at the age of 16? Maybe trying to fit into a clique at school who didn’t think you were cool enough to be in “the club”, cursing puberty for acne or trying to finish a bowl of chicken nuggets?
Though that’s pretty normal but 16 year-old prodigy, Krtin Nithiyanandam will make you contemplate otherwise.
This teenager from Epsom Surrey is all set to break the enigma which leads to the failure of “triple negative breast cancer” treatment.
What Is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?
Estimated to elicit 246,660 new cases in year 2016, in US alone, breast cancer qualifies as the most common cancer type among women, globally. Oncology experts are trying to control the ever increasing toll of breast cancer victims by raising awareness about cancer detection through regular self-evaluation and mammography, preemptive surgeries for women at risk and by improving the treatment modalities for better survival.
However, their efforts have failed to properly treat triple negative breast cancer, which accounts for 10-20 % for all cancer cases.
The hormone-sensitive breast cancer cells contain hormone receptors, for hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and human epidermal growth factor, which upon interacting with the hormones are triggered to multiply. Clinicians perform elaborated tests and biopsies to confirm the nature of a cancer and treat it with required medication such as hormone replacement therapy drugs. These hormone therapy drugs, such as Tamoxifen, Fulvestrant and Herceptin help stop the progression of cancer cells by reducing the hormone levels in the body which would otherwise give rise to the cancer cells.
All of this is logically sound for a common mind till now. But, cancers are smarter than our brains. Not all breast cancer types are sensitive to these hormone therapies and this sets up the inception point of “triple negative cancer.”
What Has This Brainy Kid Proposed?
Studies have shown that the cancer cell differentiate into more seemingly healthy cells, this activity is a key to slow down the growth of tumor cells. The can of worm opens for the clinicians when the tumor cells remain undifferentiated as a result they become deadly and grow at an exponential rate.
Krtin thinks that blocking ID4 protein will promote cell differentiation and help with cancer treatment. He claims that he has found a way to block ID4 protein expression by silencing the gene which encodes it. In addition to this, he is set to target the expression of tumor suppressor gene known as PTEN and amplify it for achieving better chemotherapy results.
He is looking forward to eventually deliver this gene expression altering therapy through RNA containing nano-particles and hopefully play a significant role in developing cancer diagnostics.