Express press service
NEW DELHI: The drug 2DG (2-Deoxy-D-glucose) will be just as effective on corona patients, believes Professor Dr Vinay Jain, former director of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), who has was instrumental in introducing the drug to India for the treatment of brain cancer patients. 2DG has been approved by authorities to treat patients with Covid-19.
âThe metabolism of tumor and Covid-infected cells is almost the same. Once the virus enters the cell, it replicates and uses a cellular machine. It is the same as what a tumor does in the human body. The energy requirements of the Covid virus are very similar to how the tumor works. Therefore, the drug will play a crucial role in the treatment of corona patients, âsaid Dr. Jain. He further noted that the drug has the potential to resist entry of the coronavirus into the body, although further verification is needed on this aspect.
â2DG will not only work in moderate and severe patients, but it is also possible that those at an early stage may also be able to receive the drug. However, it depends a lot on availability. Its metabolism is such that the drug can resist entry of the Covid virus into the body, according to theoretical studies, although further checks are needed, âhe added.
Prior to his retirement, Dr Jain had done a lot of work on the benefits of 2DG. He had first started studying and researching 2DG at Goethe University in Frankfurt from 1970 to 1973. After his return, he joined AIIMS and continued his research.
âAs part of the Indo-Gerrman collaboration, in AIIMS, we have tried 2DG in patients with thyroid cancer. We have had good results. But since 2DG was not available and is expensive, it had to be discontinued at that time. Dr AK Banerji (a neurosurgeon at AIIMS) and I wanted to generate interest in 2DG among radiation therapists. We have come together to use it on brain cancer patients, which has worked, âhe said.
Dr Jain said when Covid-19 started he recommended INMAS director Tarun Sekhri to use 2DG on patients. âSekhri said he would speak to experts and let me know. DRDO was convinced and got clinical trial clearance from DGCI and ICMR for phase 1. Then DRDO with Dr Reddy started working on it who got the patent. After the first results were good, the DGCI gave its approval. Today, the demand for this drug has increased, âadded Dr. Jain.