Wednesday, February 21, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tea, haldi could ‘check colon cancer’
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Asians are less prone to colon cancer than people in the rest of the world which scientists believe could be due to a higher intake of tea and haldi.

The theory has been substantiated by studies carried out on animals. However, for the first time in medical history, a US-based Indian doctor and his associates, in research carried out successfully on a model of DNA Mismatch Repair (MMR) defective cells of colon cancer, has shown that curcurmin and epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) could also spell wonders for those suffering from colon cancer. Curcurmin and EGCG are polyphenols which are active ingredients of turmeric and tea, respectively.

Prof D.P. Chauhan , Director of Basic Sciences, University of San Diego, California, is currently in the city in connection with a conference on gastroenterology organised by the Department of Superspeciality of Gastroenterology, PGI. The Tribune asked the scientist about his study based on the cell model of DNA MMR deficient colon cells. Dr Chauhan created this model for the first time and has shown some interesting results with the active ingredients of haldi and green tea.

Colon cancer can be formed due to many mechanisms. According to Professor Chauhan, even though colon cancer has been well-researched by scientists, it is still called‘‘ naughty’’ due to the inability of doctors to arrive at a clinical system for its diagnosis.

Specialists say that whereas fresh blood is a possible indication of piles and other ailments, dark red blood in the stools is the earliest warning signal of colon cancer. An early stage in suspected colon cancer can be picked up by histopathologists and cured by surgical procedure to ensure near-normal longevity.

In the early stages a person suffering from colon cancer does not present any clinical indications and suffer physical discomfort, says Professor Chauhan. However, the problem is that by the time cancer is diagnosed, it is late and metastasis has already started. What is even more perplexing is the fact that most colon cancers do not respond to conventional chemotherapeutic agents such as 5 flouro uracil (5FU) .

The incidence of colon cancer, the world over, is high enough for it to become a cause of concern for experts who are worried about its early diagnosis and treatment. In India, there is no reliable incidence data available. However, in the USA, according to Professor Chauhan, there 1,36,000 fresh cases of colon cancer every year out of which 55,000 people die because of the lack of diagnosis and treatment.

Prof Kartar Singh, Head, Department of Superspeciality of Gastroenterology, PGI, adds that at the institute about 100 new cases of colon cancer are presented every year, most of which are usually at very late stages.

In such cases, 5FU-based chemotherapy remains the only option. But what confounds the doctors is the fact that 80 per cent of the colon cancers do not respond to this treatment. Professor Chauhan, in a breakthrough study, has been able to identify the reason behind this strange phenomenon.

According to Professor Chauhan, genetic instability is one of the causes due to which a cell becomes cancerous. In this 80 to 85 per cent of the cancers are due to chromosomal instability while 15 to 20 per cent are because of microsatellite instability.

Chromosomal instability is due to tumour suppressor or oncogenes. But this pathway is not well understood at this point of time.

Microsatellite instability is due to defects in the DNA Mismatch Repair System. As many as 90 per cent are hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) having defects in the DNA MMR System.

To study this, Professor Chauhan created the DNA MMR defective system cell model and arrived at the conclusion that colon cancer, formed through this pathway, does not respond to conventional chemotherapy. Interestingly, these cells responded to curcurmin and EGCG, the two polyphenols from haldi and tea, respectively.

The polyphenols seem to have a multifaceted effect on cancer cells, says Professor Chauhan. While the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are well known, its properties related to antioxidant activities in colon cancer cells were studied using the cell model. Interestingly tea, besides its anti-cancer property, also has fluoride, which is good for the teeth.

Curcurmin in haldi and EGCG in tea act as a preventive as well as a curative in colon cancer, says Professor Chauhan.

Ban on sale of kuttu flour extended
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 20 — The Haryana Health Department has extended the ban on the sale of kuttu ka atta for unlimited period. The decision has been taken keeping in view the health of fasting persons on the occasion of Mahashivratri tomorrow.

According to Mr Vijay Garg, District Health Officer, the public has been asked not to use the flour in any shape, which may cause them health problems. He warned the shopkeepers against the sale of the particular flour. Strict action would be taken against those found selling “kuttu” flour in the district.

Around 150 villagers of Katiani Kalan in Ludhiana had fallen sick after consuming kheer made of kuttu flour last year. A number of persons in Ambala, Kaithal, Hisar and other parts of the state had also fallen ill after consuming eatables made of the particular flour.


Kumari Jyoti is best athlete
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Kumari Jyoti was chosen as best athlete in the annual sports day of Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, held in the college grounds here today.

The chief guest was Mr Balbir Singh, three times Olympian Gold medalist in hockey. He was also the chief coach and manager of the winning Indian national teams at the world tournament levels. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Balbir Singh emphasised the effect of games and sports on the overall-balanced development of an individual.

Dr Satinder Dhillon, Principal of the college, elucidated that the sports day was organised to provide an all-round-training to would-be teachers in order to facilitate their adaptation to the school curriculum effectively.

In the events, Navpreet, Kumari Jyoti and Sarabjit won the first three prizes in the 50 m race, while Kumari Jyoti, Navpreet and Rajinder were first, second and third, respectively, in the 100 m race. Navpreet, Kumari Jyoti and Suman won the first three positions in the 200 m race, while Jaswinder, Gursharan and Sonia Mittal won the first three positions in the 400 m race.

Kumari Jyoti and Jaswinder jointly won the first prize in the thread and needle race, while Saloni and Suman won the second position in the race. Priyanka and Aunradha got the third position. Kumari Jyoti, Prerna, Sanoj won the first three positions in Chatti race, while Gurminder, Gurpereet and Devinder came first, second and third, respectively, in the discus throw.

Gurshanran, Ridhima and Prabhjot won top positions in high jump, while Gurminder, Devinder and Gurpreet won top positions in shot put. Deepti, Gursharan and Sarabjit won top positions in long jump.


GCG-11 athletics meet
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — Nirmal Kaur of BA II was declared best athlete of the year and Sangeeta of BA III as All-round best player of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, at the 45th annual athletic meet held in the college grounds here today.

Ms Madhvi Kataria, DPI (Colleges), UT, inaugurated the meet, while Mr R.K. Jain, Chief Engineer, UT, presided over the prize distribution ceremony.

Earlier, Ms Vijaylakshmi, Principal, read out the college report on achievements in sports. The college won the PU Inter-College Lawn Tennis Championship, 2000-2001, the first prize in the PU Inter-College Yoga Competition, the second position in the PU Inter-College Cricket Tournament, the gold medal in the 4x100 m free style swimming championships, the third position in PU Inter-College Gymnastics, the second position in PU Inter-College Weightlifting, the second position in the PU Power-Lifting Tournament, the third position in Softball PU Championship and the second position in PU Inter-College Badminton .

Nirmal Kaur, Paramjit and Rajni won the top three positions in the 100 m race, while Ranjita, Paramjit Kaur, Nirmal Kaur and Kavita won the top positions in the 200 m races. Suneeta Chandel, Saroj and Nirmal Kaur won the first three positions in 800 m race and Saroj, Gurveen, Rangita won the first three positions in shot put, while Ridhiwant, Mamta and Saroj stood first, second and third, respectively, in discus throw.

Saroj, Santosh and Rishwant won the top positions in javelin, while Pushpa, Zorin and Nirmal won top positions in long jump. Pushpa, Nirmal and Neha won top positions in high jump, while the team of Paramjit, Pushpa, Hemlata and Nirmal won the first position in 4x100 relay race. Rajni, Pushpa, Kamlesh and Ritu came second, while Kanchan, Sunita, Suman and Vipin came third.

Paramjit Kaur won the sack race, while Kamlesh and Amanpreet came first in wheelbarrow race. Nirmal Kaur won the slow cycling race, while Parminder Kaur won the three legged race. Nirmal Kaur also won the 1500 m cycle race, while Kamalpreet Kaur won the chatti race. Nirmal Kaur also won the skipping race, while Mr Mohinder of the office staff won the lucky dip. Pratik, Mili and Mehak won the top positions in the children’s race.


Admn for fresh tenders for GMCH blocks
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 — In a significant move the Chandigarh Administration has ordered that fresh tenders be invited for the construction of block ‘E’ and ‘F’ of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32. The two blocks are expected to cost about Rs 15 crore, sources said.

A senior engineer has been deputed as project director of the GMCH to speed up the construction work and to finish the project in time.

The fresh tendering has been ordered after one of the companies that bid in the original tender was found to be ineligible. The entire matter was referred to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Now the Administration, wanting to come clean, has ordered fresh tenders.

Meanwhile, to speed up the construction process the Administration has appointed Mr V.K. Bhardawaj, Superintending Engineer , Construction Circle, as project director of the GMCH, as per a letter issued on Monday. Mr Bhardawaj has been given the job as he has experience of working as Superintending Hospital Engineer (SHE), PGI, where he handled several projects.

He will be looking after the entire work of the civil , public health and electrical side. He will be having three Executive Engineers, Mr Kishenjit Singh, Mr V.K. Arora and Mr O.N. Malik , reporting to him. All these engineers have been designated as resident engineers. A total of 7 SDOs have also been posted at the GMCH.

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