Tata Memorial Centre, IIT-Bombay sign cancer research MoUs

The DNA samples from tumours of patients with major cancers such as breast, cervical, ovarian and head and neck, will be studied at TMH.
The two institutes have signed a memorandum of understanding with the US-based National Cancer Institute to avail their expertise for the study.(HT File/Representational Image)
The two institutes have signed a memorandum of understanding with the US-based National Cancer Institute to avail their expertise for the study.(HT File/Representational Image)
Updated on May 03, 2018 11:51 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByAayushi Pratap, Mumbai

The Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) and the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) have joined hands to conduct a large scale research of ‘genes and proteins’ found in tumours of cancer patients.

While the field of study known as proteogenomics is paving the way worldwide to find newer medicines and diagnostics for cancers, it is for the first time that it will be undertaken in India on such a big scale, said TMC doctors.

“Till now, we were only studying the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) from samples of a patient’s cancer tissue. However, research has suggested that studying all the proteins from the cancer tissues is equally important,” said Dr Sudeep Gupta, medical oncologist at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Parel, which is run by the TMC.

“Just the studying of the DNA and RNA from the samples may not always give a correct picture of what may be happening at the cellular level of cancer cells,” he said.

The DNA samples from tumours of patients with major cancers such as breast, cervical, ovarian and head and neck, will be studied at TMH. The protein levels from the same samples will simultaneously be studied at IIT-B.

The two institutes have signed a memorandum of understanding with the US-based National Cancer Institute to avail their expertise for the study. Doctors said that a study on this scale will in future find new treatments and diagnosis for patients.

Dr Gupta said it will take years for the results of the research to be used in the realms of patient care as the data will need to be analysed thoroughly. He, however, said that proteogenomics is one of the promising approaches to tailor ‘personalised regime’ for cancer patients as against the one-size-fits-all approach followed for treatment of many cancers.

“Precision medicine is when cancer treatments for patients is based on a genetic and protein level understanding of their disease. Once we have the data collected, it will help us find new targets and diagnostics specific to each cancer and its subtypes,” Dr Gupta said.

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