RIYADH: Gold, which has been known to be a symbol of wealth and beauty, may now become a symbol of health, according to what a Saudi researcher says.
Dr. Saeed Al-Jaroudi, who has been researching and testing gold compounds as a treatment for cancer in Saudi Arabia, told Al Arabiya English that “the use of gold compounds for the treatment of cancer in the near future looks very promising.”
Jaroudi explained that the idea of using compounds of gold to fight cancer has been researched for the past 20 years, which he has continued and aimed to develop.
“We have experimented on cancer infected rats, and the results so far are incredible,” Jaroudi said.
He conducted laboratory experiments which are considered the first phase for approval to accept the compound as treatment. There are two other phases, he explained, which are animal testing and testing on human subjects. According to Jaroudi this may take from 10 to 15 years.
His idea to use gold compounds as a treatment for cancer is an attempt to find an alternative to the drug Cisplatin which has been in use for 40 years and which has many side effects.
“One of the side effects is that if a cancer patient continues the treatment, the cancerous cell will eventually become immune to it and hence the drug becomes ineffective,” he said. Whereas gold compounds on the other hand are more efficient.
“Gold compound almost have zero toxicity and no negative effects on the human body. Cancer cells do not have the ability to resist gold compounds,” he explained.
Cisplatin, which is the main drug that is used to treat cancer patients, is Platinum-based used in treatments such as chemotherapy. However, Jaroudi says that the process of using Platinum-based drugs is costly compared to gold.
Jaroudi confirmed that the treatment has been experimented in the laboratory and its effects and efficiency have been noted in stopping the spread of cancerous cells in stomach and prostate cancer.
However, Jaroudi states that there are some disadvantages using gold compounds, yet remains optimistic. “The gold compounds are unstable, but the researchers are now focusing on making a compound that is stable,” he said.