An attempt to reduce the side effects of colchicine
Cancer is basically a disorder characterized by uncontrolled division of cells of any particular tissue or organ. This uncontrolled division of cells occurs by mitosis and one approach to treat cancer is to block this mitotic division of cancer cells by using antimitotic drugs. Among the drugs used so far in this approach, the antimitotic drugs which particularly target microtubules were found to be the most effective. But these drugs cannot cure cancer completely because cancer cells become resistant to these drugs if used for a long time. But colchicine is a drug which irreversibly binds to microtubules and leads to mitotic arrest, thus can overcome the problem of drug resistance because of its irreversible binding to microtubules. Even after having this advantage colchicine is not used in cancer treatment because of its severe side effects which sometimes can even lead to death. These side effects are mainly due to the lack of specificity of action, because of which it causes mitotic arrest in both normal body cells and cancer cells. We can overcome this problem by reducing the concentration of colchicine to such an extent at which it acts mainly on cancer cells with minimal effect on normal body cells. Because microtubules are prominent in rapidly dividing cells when compared to slowly dividing normal body cells, rapidly dividing cells are more susceptible to colchicine in low concentrations. In this study we tried to find out the lowest possible concentration of colchicine which can effectively block the division of rapidly dividing cells with minimal or no effect on slowly dividing cells.
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