ITRI grants strengthen bonds with India
Researchers at ITRI have won another two major grants from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research’s Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.
ITRI’s Associate Professor Jagat Kanwar
and Dr Rupinder Kanwar, and two researchers in India – Professor
Rakesh Sehgal and Dr Munish Puri - will investigate Fe-saturated
lactoferrin as a potential alternative treatment for tumours.
Dr Ciu’e Wen and ITRI’s inaugural Director of Research, Professor Peter Hodgson, will link with Dr Gopal Pande on a project to develop a novel class of biocompatible and biodegradable magnesium alloys with mechanical properties to mimic those of natural bone.
“I congratulate both groups of researchers
involved in winning these grants,” said Professor Andrew Parratt,
Executive Director of Deakin.
“Associate Professor Kanwar was one of our
first star recruits to BioDeakin when that was set up because
of his proven track record in ground-breaking research. He
is also involved in other exciting projects."
Dr Wen was another prize recruit into the
CMFI, her talents first recognised by Professor Hodgson.
“As Director of Research at ITRI, I am
pleased that Ciu'e and Jagat have been recognised," said
Professor Hodgson. "They and their teams are now playing
key roles in building ITRI’s reputation as a place of cutting
“And research that makes a difference. As well as
strengthening Deakin University’s expanding partnerships in
India, both these projects will have a real world impact.
“All of us of a certain age have an eye on Dr Wen’s research that seeks to develop better materials for use as joint replacements, particularly hips.
“Most of us have lost a loved one to cancer,
so know first hand what sort of impact the Fe-saturated lactoferrin
project could have. At ITRI we are entering some pretty exciting
Previous Deakin Research articles on the
work of Dr Ciu’e Wen:
Link to more information about the research
projects of Associate Professor Kanwar:
Fe-saturated lactoferrin as a potential alternative treatment for tumours:
This proposal aims to investigate anti-tumour and anti-microbial activities and efficacy of iron saturated bovine lactoferrin from Australia and iron saturated buffalo and bovine lactoferrin from India.
As proof of concept we will use breast and
colon cancer xenopgraft model systems. The central hypothesis
of the project is based on 1) our recent in vitro and in vivo
research publication and patents on iron-saturated bovine
lactoferrin (Fe-bLf+) supplemented diet in combating lymphoma
(EL-4), lung cancer (Lewis lung carcinoma), and melanoma (B16)
We hypothesize that immobilized iron-saturated
bovine lactoferrin preparation will be more potent and effective
in inhibiting the tumour growth, angiogenesis in both in vitro
and in vivo xenograft models of human colon and breast cancers.
In addition no data is available on the
anti-microbial (anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial) activities
of Fe-bLf+ preparations from bovine or buffalo milk.
We seek to study the efficacies of Fe-Lf+ preparations from Australia and India for the treatment of human breast and colon cancers and anti-microbial activities.
The focus of the project will be to elucidate on a biochemical and molecular basis the preclinical efficacies of the different treatments in targeting tumor cell growth and angiogenesis in cancer and anti-microbial activity.
The Indian and Australian investigators
will immobilise the iron saturated lactoferrins and carry
out the in vitro and in vivo based assays for anti-microbial
activities; the Australian investigator will study the therapeutic
efficacy preclinically in xenograft breast and colon cancer
models and cell based assays.
Any advancement in improved efficacy of treatment for cancers and microbial infections will translate into reduced health care cost, better socioeconomic development and prosperity of Australia and India.
Significance and Expected Outcomes:
Multi drug resistance (MDR) is a common
problem in cancer treatment and limits the success of long
term chemotherapy and radiation therapy in cancer patients
and microbial infections caused by various pathogens.
There is a pressing medical need for new and better treatments since the current treatments often lack efficacy in a large proportion of cancer patients and/or produce serious side effects.
As far as chemoprevention of cancer is concerned,
the greatest recent impact of milk derived products like iron
saturated bovine lactoferrin and recombinant human lactoferrin
for cancers revealed that the potentials of milk for cancer
treatment and prevention are still enormous.
The anti-tumor and immunomodulatory activities
of Fe-bLf+ indicate that it
i) is a potent natural adjuvant and fortifying agent for augmenting cancer chemotherapy and
ii) works better in synergy with Vitamin D /soy proteins have recently been published and patented by Australian investigators.
Currently, there is also renewed interest in the role of lactoferrin as an anti-cancer as well as anti-bacterial therapy. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral action of lactoferrin appears to have received more attention with a number of studies reporting its role in prevention of diarrhoea in children.
However, studies with parasites are limited and there exists no such investigation from immobilized iron saturated bovine/buffalo lactoferrin preparations for an alternative treatment to chemotherapy for colon and breast cancer and for infectious parasitic and bacterial diarrhoea.
There is certainly potential that this research could come up with effective scientifically validated synergistic formulations and will ensure better insight as an alternative medicine based therapeutic intervention for tumor suppression. It will lead to future developments of anti-cancer and/or anti-microbial therapies.
Another important outcome of this study will include recommendations for Australian and India dairy (bovine lactoferrin) products as raw material for final product production and will bring economic benefits to both Australian and Indian dairy sectors.
There have been staff and student exchanges between Australia and India already and this project will take the collaboration to a higher level that will benefit both countries.
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education
& Research, Chandigarh, India; Punjab University, Punjab,
Developing a novel class of biocompatible and biodegradable magnesium alloys with mechanical properties to mimic those of natural bone:
The present project aims to develop a novel class of biocompatible and biodegradable magnesium (Mg) alloys with mechanical properties mimicking those of natural bone.
The Mg alloys overcome the problems of adverse tissue reaction and stress shielding of existing metallic implant materials. Moreover, they possess advantages of suitability for load-bearing orthopaedic applications, and in vivo biodegradability, whereby, the Mg alloy implants are gradually replaced by natural bone.
Our research goal is to develop a new class of biocompatible and biodegradable Mg biomaterials for bone tissue engineering applications.
The expected outcomes from this research project include:
- Knowledge of the biocorrosion mechanism
and biodegrading behaviour of Mg alloys.
- Technology in designing and manufacturing new biodegradable Mg alloys with excellent biomechanical properties, biodegradability and biocompatibility.
- Knowledge and techniques in surface
bioengineering of Mg alloys to improve bioactivity and osteoconductivity.
- A unique class of biodegradable Mg alloys with load-bearing capabilities for implant materials.
Indian Partner: Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, OS, India.
What is the Australia-India Scientific Research Fund?