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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Genome sequencing to help in personalised cancer treatment

Genome sequencing is the process of figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome [genetic material of an organism].

india Updated: Oct 26, 2019 01:42 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
New Delhi
Scientists at two government-run laboratories said they have completed the sequencing of genomes of 1,008 healthy individuals under a project, aimed at providing Indian patients personalised treatment for diseases such as cancer.
Scientists at two government-run laboratories said they have completed the sequencing of genomes of 1,008 healthy individuals under a project, aimed at providing Indian patients personalised treatment for diseases such as cancer. (Representative Image)
         

Scientists at two government-run laboratories said they have completed the sequencing of genomes of 1,008 healthy individuals under a project, aimed at providing Indian patients personalised treatment for diseases such as cancer. The experiment is also expected help scientists determine why some Indians live up to the age of 100.

Genome sequencing is the process of figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome [genetic material of an organism].

The IndiGen initiative of genome sequencing of 1,008 people across the country has come out with 55 variants of population in the country.

Samples from across India were collected and analysed by two Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories – the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in Delhi, and Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.

The database created by the CSIR scientists can be used by doctors as well as the industry to find cheaper diagnostic solutions and cure for rare genetic conditions.

“We use genetic data from the West – mostly Caucasian population – for reference... Now, we have a reference database that closely represents our own population,” said Dr Sridhar Sivasubbu, director, IGIB.

The database created by these two laboratories includes samples from a diverse group, including about 100 individuals over the age of 91 to study genetic basis of longevity, people from Uddanam in Andhra Pradesh who are susceptible to chronic kidney disease, and people from Shimoga in Karnataka who have short stature and joint problems.

“There are about 70 million people in India with rare genetic diseases for which either there is no treatment or the costs are high. With large-scale sequencing of genomes, people will come to know whether they are carriers of genetic diseases and do pre-natal tests for the same. It is possible to eliminate such diseases through testing,” said Dr Rakesh Mishra, director, CCMB.

Speaking on the development, Union science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday that genome data would be important for building the know-how, baseline data and indigenous capacity in the emerging area of precision medicine.