Findings presented by CORE Diagnostics to help treat cancer

Results presented by CORE Diagnostics in the field of radiotherapy for treating cancer captured the attention of around 300 oncologists from 16 organizations that were present at the event

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New Delhi: 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.

Present at the convention Dr Kunal Sharma from CORE Diagnostics, attracted the attention of fellow researchers towards certain latest internationally validated findings, “The findings we presented addressed the latest outlook towards cancers, in particular, CNS tumours, 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 tumours and the tumours could be better grouped on the basis of their molecular profiles. This changes the way tumours are treated, and hence, despite them appearing as a certain kind, their classification, behaviour 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 tumours and also on the same kind of a tumour in different patients.”

As there are various genes predicting the radio-sensitivity of a particular tumour 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.