Cancer Research Current Affairs - 2020

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Health Minister announces plans to set up National Genomic Grid (Cancer)

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Aswini Kumar Choubey, announced that government plans to set up a National Genomic Grid, so as to take cancer research to the next level and make treatment viable for people of different economic classes. This National Genomic Grid will study genomic data of cancer patients from India.

About National Genomic Grid (Cancer)

The National Genomic Grid for India-specific cancer research will collect samples from cancer patients from India to study genomic factors influencing cancer and identifying the right treatment modalities for Indian population.

The grid to be formed will be in line with National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) set up at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. NCTB functions in close association with Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and has the capacity to stock 50,000 genomic samples from cancer patients.

The government plans to set up National Genomic Grid in same style as that of NCTB with pan-India collection centres by bringing all cancer treatment institutions on board.

The grid will have four parts, with the country divided into east, west, north and south.

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India and UK sign MoU for collaboration in cancer research       

India and United Kingdom have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in cancer research.    It is follow-up to joint statement issued by Prime Ministers of India and UK during visit of PM Narendra Modi to the UK in April 2018.

Key Facts

The MoU was signed between Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for India-UK Cancer Research Initiative for collaboration in cancer research for the next five years. Under it, both CRUK and DBT will invest 5 million pounds each in this five-year pilot project and seek further investment from other potential funding partners.

India-UK Cancer Research Initiative will identify core set of research challenges that address issues of affordability, prevention and care of cancer patients by bringing together leading Indian and UK experts in clinical research, demographic research, new technologies and physical sciences.

The initiative will provide funding to develop new research alliances and undertake impactful research to enable significant progress against cancer outcomes. It will also provide catalysing platform for scientists and researchers in India and UK to co-create solutions for affordable cancer care that improve cancer outcomes around the globe.

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