Dr. Ashok Sharma, Assistant Professor & DBT-Ramalingaswami Fellow at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences' Cancer Hospital, participated last week in the annual meeting of National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network.
Presenting his work, in collaboration with OHSL, on early detection of cancers found in India, Dr. Sharma shared with the conference attendees during the international panel his recent research on prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers. In addition, he shared with the audience that 60% of cancer in India is considered preventable, particularly tobacco-related cancers, but also cancers related to alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, etc. When cancer is detected early, the cure rate is high (80%). Unfortunately, most cancer in India (80%) is detected at late stages, impacting the overall cure rate. Click here for a copy of the EDRN Poster that accompanied Dr. Sharma's presentation.
Given these statistics, as well as the growing burden of cancer in India, it is imperative that India begin to work on developing new and better techniques for early detection and research of cancer, particularly biomarker research.
During his presentation, Dr. Sharma talked about his interest in developing India's capabilities in big data analytics, translational research, and personalized health care to tackle to the problem of early detection of cancer.
While in Bethesda, Dr. Sharma also had opportunities to meet with the new NCI leaders, including Dr. Norman Sharpless, recently appointed Director of NCI. Dr. Sharma discussed the progress of AIIMS's new National Cancer Institute in Jhajjar, Haryana, as well as the desire of NCI's head, Dr. G.K. Rath, to start a EDRN-like network within India.