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Personalised Genomic Care Can Help India Fight Its Cancer Burden

Published
Cancer
3 min read
Personalised Genomic Care Can Help India Fight Its Cancer Burden

Cancer is ruthless. The physical, emotional and mental impact of the disease is unimaginable. It is hard to catch and often even harder to treat.

According to The World Cancer Report, as of 2018, India recorded a stark 784,800 cancer deaths. The latest study by World Health Organisation (WHO) further warns that one in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 15 will die of the disease. There are multiple reasons for India’s cancer burden. Limited medical infrastructure, inequalities in access to quality healthcare and lifestyle choices of Indians are some of them.

India's cancer burden

Source- India Against Cancer

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But there is light at the end of the tunnel. We can offer better treatment options. In the face of all adversities, precision oncology offers that beacon of hope. Today, personalised care and precise diagnosis are the holy grails of healthcare, especially with altering demographics and changing civilisations. Yet, despite medical breakthroughs, cancer treatment in India has mostly been limited to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

No two cancer types are the same. Thus, the one-size-fits-all cancer treatment approach does not work for everyone. Precision oncology provides the best-personalized treatment to individuals based on their genomic profile. Major challenges today in implementing precision oncology as a standard of care in clinics are that most current cancer panels available derive insights from Caucasian population as research data based on Indian population is limited, costs for these tests are too high, and thereby, unaffordable to the larger population and finally, turnaround time is 5-6 weeks on an average.

Source - iStock

But 4baseCare is transforming the landscape of personalised healthcare options in India by addressing these challenges. They are developing precision oncology solutions that improve the affordability and timely availability of gene testing reports for cancer patients. They are doing so with the help of a population-specific gene panel. Their cancer panel, TARGT Indiegene is truly #IndiaKaGenePanel and is believed to be India’s largest and first Indian population-specific tumour research derived from Whole Exome and Whole Transcriptome data of over 1500 cancer patients across 28 different cancer types.

“This is a significant achievement not just for us as a company but for India as a country. This is the 1st step towards improving genomics diversity from non-Caucasian populations in global genomics research and will lead the way for India to be at the forefront of global precision oncology initiatives.”
Hitesh Goswami, CEO – 4baseCare

The research aims to help oncologists, cancer hospitals, and cancer clinics identify and understand unique mutational signatures in Indian patients. The study notes the existing treatment options that can specifically target these mutations and could be more effective for Indian patients.

4baseCare invites all stakeholders across the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry for further collaboration on further research and development on precision cancer care that can help improve the lives of cancer patients in India.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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