A group of scientists from LAB P53 have developed a new genomics-based technology for Personalised Cancer Therapy.

The biggest challenge in treating cancer patients is to identify a suitable course of treatment. Since there are different stages of treatment including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery, it is imperative to assess an individual’s treatment. This clearly goes to say that no two cancers are alike, just as no two people are alike.

Based on this theory, Abilesh M Gunasekar, an alumnus of the VIT University, Vellore, and Managing Director of LAB P53, has developed a genomics-based ‘Personalised Cancer Therapy’. The company was in the making for over three years. “It took me a year to work on the concept,” says Gunasekar.

The company is now being incubated at the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of the VIT University-Vellore, with a group of scientists who developed this new genomics-based technology for Personalised Cancer Therapy. “This is the first of its kind in India and is being introduced on the first-day of the graVITas, 2013,” said a university official.

DNA analysis

According to Gunasekar, since the DNA varies from person to person, and cancer with its changes in DNA, will also vary from person to person. He says an ‘extension DNA Analysis” is required to find the out the root of the cancer for providing apt treatment. He adds that the DNA analysis has been in practice for sometime in India now but requires a long time to identify cancer in a person. With technological advancement, the amount spent on DNA sequencing has come down drastically now, so that it could be used for clinical treatment.

“In ‘Personalised Cancer Therapy’, the DNA of patients will be analysed to find out about the cancer-related mutations. This will help us gain an insight into the treatment that can be recommended for the mutations,” Gunasekar explains. He adds, “The LAB P53 uses molecular simulation technique to find the suitable chemo-agent for patients. It also gives information and uses pharma kinetics to find out how the patients’ body will react to the medicine.”

His team has been developing the technology for the last two years. “If patients undergo this new technique, they may have the highest chances of survival,” he says.

Gunasekar is of the opinion that through advancement in genomics, doctors can now have the option of understanding their patients’ profile with precision.

“Enabled with this understanding, the doctors could treat each patient with the perfect strategy designed just for each individual; genomics-based treatment has changed the treatment effectiveness at an unimaginable extent,” he says.