With an estimated 1.4 crore cancer cases, it is the second largest cause for mortality, killing over 8.8 lakh people. To combat cancer, researchers are exploring multiple ways to find effective treatment options. As the world finds its way in exploring newer possibilities of treating cancer, at home young Indians are also steadfast on the lookout for better techniques to diagnose cancers that can lead to more effective treatment measures.
At a scientific convention held in Delhi recently on radiation oncology, which is a medical specialty involving the use of radiation therapy as a treatment method to cure cancer, latest observations were presented before the scientific community. As of now CNS Tumors affect roughly 10 people per 100,000 Indians per year constituting 2 % of all tumors diagnosed in India. “On retrospective analysis, we have been able to reclassify more than hundred tumors with ambiguous histology, into specific groups based on the molecular mutation as per the new classification system, which has impacted prognosis and treatment,” said Dr Kunal Sharma from CORE Diagnostics
Present at the convention Dr Kunal Sharma from CORE Diagnostics, attracted attention of fellow researchers towards certain latest internationally validated findings, “The findings we presented addressed the latest outlook towards cancers in particular CNS tumors, where molecular testing is the new benchmark to classify, predict outcome and assess treatment response. Tumors were conventionally classified by histology, which is the microscopic study of cancer cells and their interactions with the surrounding tissue. It was found that the classifications were not exactly predictive and prognostic especially in brain tumors and the tumors could be better grouped on the basis of their molecular profiles. This changes the way tumors are treated, and hence, despite them appearing as a certain kind, their classification, behavior and response to treatment, would depend on their molecular characteristics.”
It was established that histopathology should be considered only to go for the next level of testing, which in CNS tumors, is molecular testing. The direct impact of these findings on cancer is more accurate diagnosis of cancers, predicting overall survival, choice of therapy and therapeutic response.
Addressing a group of 300 doctors, scientists, and oncology experts from around 16 esteemed organizations in India, Dr. Kunal Sharma added “Not many are looking at a certain area, which has gained recent attention in a western study, and we at CORE are evaluating for research in India – integrating genomics with treatment. We should put the focus on genomic-adjusted radiation dose (GARD) which is yet to be included in clinical practice. This score practically divides patients into different groups based on their genetic profile and helps to predict their treatment outcome based on the group they fall in. Latest findings reveal that a higher radiation dose does not necessarily have better therapeutic effect on different kinds of tumors and also on the same kind of tumor in different patients.”
As there are various genes predicting the radio-sensitivity of a particular tumor in a particular patient, there becomes a need to personalize the treatment given to different patients. The most important conclusion is that these molecular tests are to be taken as the next step to conventional diagnosis and not a replacement to it.
At the convention, Dr. Sharma pushed for hierarchy of testing, highlighted the need to explore the reasons for performing and not performing a molecular test, and called for combining the surgical pathology report with the molecular report wherever feasible, to have a complete, integrated diagnosis at one place.
With India recording one of the highest numbers of cancer cases, sharing such findings gives better visibility of how India is planning to cope with the increasing incidence of various types of cancers.
“We are invested in bridging gap between Indian diagnostic industry and the world. Of many other fields, we have focused on molecular diagnostics heavily to find a better therapy to treat cancer. The environment of research in India is just warming up, and our regular efforts are directed towards bringing the world to India. These findings would be of significant effect in treating brain cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer”, said Zoya Brar, Founder & MD, CORE Diagnostics.
About CORE Diagnostics
CORE Diagnostics is a clinical laboratory focused on next generation diagnostics for disease stratification and therapy selection. The company focuses on bringing the most advanced testing techniques and expertise to India and is the destination for all of India’s high-end diagnostic needs. CORE Diagnostics is truly one of a kind, because of: A rich menu of high-end tests; second opinion on every test from a global panel of pathologists; and very short turnaround time. The company’s initial test offerings have been in the areas of cardiology, oncology, reproductive disorders, endocrinology, and infectious diseases. For more information, please visit www.corediagnostics.in.