Sunday December 8, 2019

TCD Collaborates with Tata Memorial Centre to Bring Saliva-Based Test for Screening Oral Cancer to India

The core objective of this research project is to detect presence of mutations in a non-invasive method from the tumour in patients with oral cancer

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blood cancers
Medicare covers more than 60 million seniors and people with disabilities. Pixabay

With an aim to bring a saliva-based test for screening oral cancer to India, the Tata Centre for Development (TCD) at Chicago University in the US on Wednesday announced collaboration with the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) in Mumbai.

The test could be used for patients to detect tumour DNA from mouth cancers. The core objective of this research project is to detect presence of mutations in a non-invasive method from the tumour in patients with oral cancer. ­

Currently, observational clinical trial is going on throughout India to develop the test, the Tata Centre for Development said in a statement.

This collaboration is expected to augment the efforts towards collecting tumour tissue and matched saliva from patients with oral cancer.

TCD, Saliva, Cancer
With an aim to bring a saliva-based test for screening oral cancer to India, the Tata Centre for Development (TCD) at Chicago University in the US on Wednesday announced collaboration. Pixabay

“Our collaboration with the Tata Memorial Centre will help us in developing the assay and conducting the trial,” said Nishant Agrawal, Professor at University of Chicago Medical Center.

Oral cancer ranks among the top three types of cancer in India. It is also the leading cancer among men and the fifth most frequently occurring cancer in women.

India, reportedly, contributes nearly 60 per cent to the oral cancer burden worldwide, and the number of cases is expected to double by 2030. Unfortunately, 60-80 per cent of oral cancers are diagnosed at advanced stages when survival is well below 50 per cent.

“With recent advances in sequencing technology, we have been able to demonstrate that tumour DNA can be detected in saliva of patients. It is an easily accessible, non-invasive liquid biopsy method,” Agrawal said.

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Evidence suggests that if oral cancer is diagnosed early and treated as localised tumours, the five-year survival rate would significantly improve. The five-year survival rate for stage III or IV cancer is between 20 and 40 per cent as opposed to 70-90 per cent for stage I or II cancer.

“The research holds promise for both the patients and the doctors because it gives them an opportunity to address pre-cancerous lesions and early detection of invasive cancer and treat it with simple interventions,” said Rajendra Badwe, Director at Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai. (IANS)

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Genetic Variations Influence Risk of Developing Cancer: Study

Study found that variations in the regions that regulate the expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes affect cancer risk

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Cancer
While minor genetic changes only have a small impact on Cancer risk, the variations analysed in this study are numerous and common in the population. Pixabay

Shedding new light on why some people develop cancer while others do not, a new study has found that a person’s risk of developing cancer is affected by Genetic variations in regions of DNA that do not code for proteins, previously dismissed as “junk DNA”.

This study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, shows that inherited cancer risk is not only affected by mutations in key cancer genes, but that variations in the DNA that controls the expression of these genes can also drive the disease.

The researchers believe that understanding how non-coding DNA affects the development of this disease could one day improve genetic screening for cancer risk.

And in the future, this could lead to new prevention strategies, or help doctors diagnose the disease earlier, when it is more likely to be treated successfully.

“What we found surprised us as it had never been reported before — our results show that small genetic variations work collectively to subtly shift the activity of genes that drive cancer,” said lead researcher of the study John Quackenbush, Professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the US.

Genetic
Shedding new light on why some people develop Cancer while others do not, a new study has found that a person’s risk of developing cancer is affected by genetic variations in regions of DNA that do not code for proteins, previously dismissed as “junk DNA”. Pixabay

“We hope that this approach could one day save lives by helping to identify people at risk of cancer, as well as other complex diseases,” Quackenbush said.

The researchers investigated 846 genetic changes within non-coding stretches of DNA, identified by previous studies as affecting cancer risk.

These Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are particular positions in the human genome where a single letter of the genetic code varies between people.

Unlike mutations in coding DNA, such as BRCA, that are rare but significantly raise a person’s risk of developing cancer, non-coding SNPs are relatively common in the population but only slightly increase cancer risk.

The team analysed whether there was a correlation between the presence of a particular SNP and the expression of particular genes.

In total, they looked at over six million genetic variants across 13 different body tissues.

Genetic
The researchers believe that understanding how non-coding DNA affects the development of this disease could one day improve genetic screening for cancer risk. Pixabay

They found that variations in the regions that regulate the expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes affect cancer risk.

The study also revealed that these cancer-risk SNPs tend to be specifically located in regions that regulate the immune system and tissue-specific processes — highlighting the importance of these cellular processes to the development of cancer.

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“While minor genetic changes only have a small impact on cancer risk, the variations analysed in this study are numerous and common in the population,” said Emily Farthing, senior research information manager at British charity Cancer Research UK. (IANS)