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Review Article


Past, present, and future of molecular oncology in India

Mishti Jain
Scientific Observer, Medical Oncology Molecular Laboratory, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Corresponding Author:

Mishti Jain

Scientific Observer, Medical Oncology Molecular Laboratory, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
E-mail: misti.jain@gmail.com

Corresponding Author:

Mishti Jain

Scientific Observer, Medical Oncology Molecular Laboratory, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
E-mail: misti.jain@gmail.com

DOI:10.18203/issn.2456-3994.IntJMolImmunoOncol20170051

ABSTRACT


Cancer has become an important public health issue in India as ICMR in its latest report on cancer status (summarized in Figure 1), has projected that the total number of new cases would be around 14.5 lakhs in 2016 and the figure is likely to reach 17.3 lakhs by the year 2020. Molecular oncology, a multidisciplinary specialty involving extensive use of genomics, computational biology, and tumor imaging, is the “backbone technology” for the management of the disease. In the modern day India, the growing significance of molecular genetics and cytogenetics in diagnosis as well as management of various cancers has also led to expansion of genetic diagnostic and counseling services. However, skewed geographical distribution, lack of awareness about the disease, symptoms, and diagnostic practices further augments the challenge of treating cancers in India. Lack of adequate infrastructure and absence of mass screening programs are key barriers to timely and accurate diagnosis in India. Key themes that may help in effective management of cancer include cost-effective, early diagnosis and screening; national planning based on robust and granular cancer registry; public-private partnerships to decentralize cancer care delivery and nurture centers of excellence.
Keywords: Molecular oncology, cancer registry, molecular genetics