India-UK project to find cheaper diagnostic tools for early cancer detection

Dinesh C Sharma New Delhi | Updated on August 29, 2019

In India, one million new cases of cancer are reported every year. Nearly 60 per cent of the cases reach hospitals in late stages when survival is difficult. For many cancers, early detection can lead to better treatment and greater chances of survival. The situation could change if affordable screening tools, cheaper diagnostic tests and more effective treatment regime become available.

In order to promote research in affordable approaches to cancer, the government’s Department of Biotechnology has joined hands with British charity, Cancer Research UK, to launch a research challenge for affordable approaches to cancer. The initiative will fund research projects totaling 10 million pounds over the next five years. The initiative will be managed by DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance.

The objective is to stimulate focused, multidisciplinary research to address important challenges in affordability in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, by bringing together research strengths of India and the UK.

Seven research challenges under the theme of affordable approaches to cancer have been identified. These are prevention, early detection, early diagnosis, computational approaches, small molecule treatment, treatment and cancers of children and young people. Besides research in affordable early detection and diagnosis, researchers will have to develop computational approaches that can reduce the cost of cancer care delivery. Research projects for identifying novel, affordable treatment approaches for hard to treat cancers using small molecules will also be funded. For cancers of children, new approaches need to be developed to improve long-term quality of life in children and young people with cancer.

The initiative is being implemented in three phases. Under the first phase, core challenges have been identified. The second phase will see establishment of new research partnerships, and projects will be funded in the last phase.

DBT, Cancer Research UK and DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance have signed a tripartite agreement under which the India Alliance will undertake grant funded activities for second and third phases. Seed-funded teams will get awards of up to£1.5 million (approximately Rs 13.1 crores) over 4 years.

(India Science Wire)


Twitter handle: @dineshcsharma



Published on August 29, 2019

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