Cricketer Yuvraj Singh Administered Bleomycin In Second Chemotherapy Cycle
Indian cricketer, Yuvraj Singh is currently undergoing chemotherapy under Dr. Einhorn in Boston. Early this year he had been diagnosed with a rare mediastinal germ cell cancer and had been prescribed nine-week long chemotherapy cycles.
A bald Yuvraj tweeted yesterday,
“Second cycle finished today! Had a Bleomycin shot feeling weak but I’m sure tom will be a better day! My next scan dated on 7th march”
The second cycle of chemotherapy that began in the second week of February has certainly left Yuvraj weak physically, but he is as strong as ever both mentally and spiritually, claim his family. Deeply inspired by legendary cyclist, Lance Armstrong who was cured of his testicular cancer in 1996, Yuvraj keeps his spirits high by reading Armstrong’s autobiography, “It’s Not About The Bike”. Incidentally, the same oncologist who saved Armstrong is treating Yuvraj.
Bleomycin – Chemotherapeutic Agent
Bleomycin is a glycopeptide bacterial antibiotic. It is produced by Streptomyces verticillus. The antibiotic belongs to a family of structurally similar and related compounds. It is used as an anticancer agent in its chemotherapeutical forms of A2 and B2. The compound debilitates cancer cells by breaking up the DNA. It is particularly used in cases where the cancer has spread to the lungs, since this prevents accumulation of fluid between chest wall and lungs.
Discovery: Japanese scientist, Hamao Umezawa while screening S. verticullus for anticancer activity, first discovered the antibiotic. The FDA approved use of Bleomycin in 1973.
Mechanism of action: Even though the exact mechanism of action of Bleomycin is not known, there are studies that suggest that compound induces DNA breaks by chelating metal ions leading to production of a pseudoenzyme. This pseudoenzyme reacts with oxygen producing hydroxide and superoxide radicals that cleave DNA. Some studies suggest that Bleomycin prevents incorporation of thymidine into DNA strands.
Manufacturers: Cipla, APP Pharmaceuticals, Hospira
Side effects: Studies suggest that Bleomycin may induce sensitivity to oxygen toxicity. However, the most serious complication is pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer impairment.
Yuvraj is happy that his cancer is almost out of his body and we wish him all the best in his recovery!