Cancer research giants come together

doi:10.1038/nindia.2012.168 Published online 19 November 2012

Cancer research and clinical care are poised to get a significant boost in India with the launch of a coveted partnership between one of the world's leading academic centres King's College London with Mumbai-based Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) to deliver 'affordable cancer care for an ageing global population'.

The two research bodies announced a collaboration today (November 19, 2012) launching a formal partnership between TMC and King's Integrated Cancer Centre. The collaboration is expected to harness new technology and advances in genetics and personalised medicine that offer targeted therapeutic opportunities for breast, prostate, lung and blood cancers. The Integrated Cancer Centre will collaborate with researchers worldwide in these areas, a release announcing the partnership said.

The partnership also forms part of King's agenda of developing partnerships in India in the medical sciences — in cancer, neuroscience and mental health. King's recently sent a large academic delegation to Mumbai and Delhi, headed by Principal Sir Rick Trainor, to engage with partner organizations and pursue research opportunities.

The agreement between King's and TMC will allow the two centres to pursue joint research and development opportunities and exchange of staff and students. The institutions will focus on training fellowships; exchange visits; cancers of the breast, lung, head and neck; clinical trials; cancer policy, economics, epidemiology and public health programmes, according to the release.

The centre will follow a combined care and research model to accelerate development of cancer treatments. TMC recently spearheaded a movement to create a network of cancer centres under the "National Cancer Grid" in India. Several large randomised trials in head and neck, breast, oesophageal and cervical cancers are now underway at TMC and are expected to answer burning clinical questions.