The National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) at IIT-Madras will enable to develop effective personalised treatments for cancer patients in the country, says Union minister of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
“The present treatment for cancer was devised predominantly in other countries. However, the treatment for patients in India will differ on account of changes in lifestyle and genetic variations. NCTB at IIT-Madras will enable India to perform the necessary testing to develop treatments and medications that will be most effective in Indian conditions and patients.”said the minister.
NCTB was established as a joint venture between the Department of Science and Technology and IIT Madras.
At the phase 2 level, IIT-Madras has proposed to establish a national facility on cancer genomics to develop the cancer genome database specific to the Indian population. It will be a joint venture between the Indian Council for Medical Research and IIT Madras.
This database will be an invaluable resource to identify cancer-specific biomarkers in India, which will enable early detection of cancers in Indian patients.
NCTB has signed MoUs with hospitals in Chennai and Puducherry to collect cancer tissue samples after obtaining ethical clearance from the institutional ethical committee of IIT-Madras and the respective medical centres, and consent from the patients, reports Times of India.
The biobank has reported to have collected cancer tissue samples from more than 3,000 patients so far. All the samples are stored in a liquid nitrogen facility with a pathology report.