Psorinum – New drug hope for cancer patients

KOLKATA: Diagnosed with stage-IV pancreatic cancer in 2001, Minu Dutta was in such an advanced stage of the disease that neither surgery nor chemotherapy was possible, and her expected survival was only about three months. As a last resort, she enrolled herself into a clinical trial of psorinum therapy. Complete tumour remission was observed within one year of treatment. After 10 years of diagnosis, she is still disease-free. “This is a new life for me,” she gushes with relief.

Psorinum therapy is an active-immunotherapeutic anti-cancer treatment against six types of cancer – liver, gall bladder, stomach, pancreatic, lung and oesophagus. The key medicine is Psorinum 6x – a diluted alcoholic extract of pus found in scabies vesicles. The medicine is liquid in form and administered orally.

“According to the pre-clinical data, Psorinum 6x activates different immune-effector cells, for instance T-cells, and accessory cells like macrophages, dendritic cells and natural killer cells that can trigger a complex anti-tumor immune response,” explains Dr Aradeep Chatterjee, who is also the research director of the Critical Cancer Management Research Centre, Kolkata.

Kashinath Saha’s case was very similar to Dutta’s. In 2003, he learnt that he had stage-IV lung cancer and was told that his expected survival was only about five months. “I had given up on life. I couldn’t afford the expensive chemo and everything. So I thought this is the end.” He was one of the 95 lung cancer patients who participated in another of three clinical trials on Psorinum Therapy. “I am now cancer-free and leading a normal life,” he added.

The cases of Dutta and Saha were reviewed and verified by the National Cancer Institute under the National Institutes of Health of USA as part of their Best Case Series Programme.

Psorinum therapy, however, has faced some skepticism among a few oncologists in the city. Dr Goutam Mukherjee says: “It is doubtful how far Psorinum can work independently without conventional lines of treatment, like chemo or radiation therapies.”

However, in the three clinical trials conducted till date to evaluate the efficacy of psorinum therapy, the participants’ eligibility criteria included pathological “confirmation of malignancy, inoperable tumour, and no prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy”. The details of all the three trials were reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the outcomes published in premier peer-reviewed cancer journals including the Journal of Clinical Oncology (2009, 2010 and 2011). The first clinical trial involved 158 participants with advanced liver, gall bladder, pancreatic and stomach cancers, the second trial was conducted on 95 participants with lung-cancer and the third trial was on 65 oesophageal cancer patients.

Dr Jaydip Biswas, director, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, commented: “The findings have been exciting and the journals support the clinical efficacy of Psorinum 6x, and confirm that it has no adverse side-effects.” A section of experts, including Dr Amitava Chakraborty, assistant professor, department of radiation oncology at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata, hail this novel treatment protocol as “a revolutionary work in cancer research”.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA, has signed a “mutual confidentiality agreement” on July 11, 2011 with Dr Aradeep Chatterjee to initiate follow up clinical trials on this novel cancer treatment protocol. Dr Siqing Fu, Assistant Professor at MD Anderson, recently corresponded, “We are very excited to collaborate with Dr Chatterjee to bring psorinum 6x into allopathic cancer therapy.” The therapy is already being replicated in Denmark.

Oncologist Dr Mikael Nordfors at Humlegaarden International Cancer Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark, appears very convinced about the efficacy of this therapy: “Since I started with Psorinum Therapy, I’ve experienced a big improvement in results. I consider it to be perhaps the single most interesting treatment method for cancer that exists today,” he said.

Each cycle of three months of the treatment costs only about Rs 3,500. A cancer patient needs approximately eight to 12 cycles of the treatment to complete a full course. According to Dr Aradeep Chatterjee, “Randomized, controlled clinical trials are now being planned to determine if psorinum therapy is better than the chemotherapies to treat those six types of cancer.” If psorinum can live up to its promise, cancer patients around the world will have cause for relief, and cancer will lose its much dreaded edge, for sure.

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