Our Cancer Research Program is aimed to identify leads for early detection and diagnosis, treatments and cure. This important aspect of our Cancer Research Program involves Biomarker discovery for early detection and diagnosis, Cancer Immunotherapy, Cancer vaccine, Mechanistic studies of key tumor specific molecules in cancer, Drug discovery and Chemo-resistant discovery.
Summary of Research:
In our cancer research program, we have identified a tumor antigen SPAG9 which is expressed in reproductive tract cancers and variety of malignancies. Our Institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cancer Institute (WIA) Adiyar, Chennai, for Human clinical trials in cervix cancer patients. Drug Controller General India has approved and given permission to Dr. T Rajkumar, Medical Oncologist at Cancer Institute to conduct Phase II clinical trial study entitled “Cancer immunotherapy dendritic cell vaccine based immunotherapy in cervical cancer-A phase II, double blind, randomized, three arm study to evaluate the efficacy of dendritic cell vaccine in stage IIIB cervical cancer” (n=54 patients)” employing recombinant SPAG9 protein. Recombinant SPAG9 manufacturing and preclinical regulatory toxicological studies are under way which has been outsourced to Syngene International (Biocon Limited), Bangalore, for Human clinical trials. Our findings have opened new avenues for novel treatment modalities in battling with this deadly disease worldwide employing immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine for treating cervical cancer patients for better Reproductive Health. If successful, this will be the first molecule identified in India and will be an example of Translational Research outcome.
Translational Efforts using Cancer Immunotherapy platform:
Our ongoing tumor immunotherapy platform focuses on research initiative involving SPAG9 based targeted vaccine for prophylactic and therapeutic approach. Our efforts in developing monoclonal antibody against SPAG9 will be beneficial to the clinicians for early and accurate detection of cancer and may be used for better cancer treatment which may be a key to successful cancer treatment.
Translational Research in Triple negative breast cancer & Reproductive tract Cancer:
Breast cancer remains the major cause of death in women worldwide. Major challenge remains with the breast cancer patients with triple-negative tumors for which there are no or limited therapy available and have poor prognosis. In this regard we are investigating the involvement of SPAG9 in breast cancer using various breast cancer cell line models which may lead to new therapeutic strategies. Gynecological cancers and Prostate cancer remain the leading cause of death around the world. Our translational efforts using SPAG9 and AKAP4 may be ideal targets for early detection and diagnosis and immunotherapeutic use for better cancer management.
Mechanistic Investigation platform:
The focus of our work is also driven towards exploring the involvement of SPAG9 & AKAP4 in the complex cancer signaling networks. Research efforts in our laboratory have been initiated to understand the underlying mechanisms involving these important molecules in malignant cells. Translational efforts with various formulation of SPAG9 siRNA are under way which may be used as future applications of siRNA therapeutics in variety of cancer treatment.
Linkages with Hospitals and partnership with research organizations:
Dr. T. Rajkumar, Head Medical Oncologist, Cancer Instiute (WIA), Chennai, Dr. P.K. Julka, Head, Department of Radiotherapy, IRCH, Dr. G.K. Rath, Director, IRCH, Dr. Rajive Kumar, Head, Hematology oncology Laboratory IRCH, Dr. D. Pandey, Surgical Oncologist, AIIMS, Dr. Amlesh Seth, Onco-Urology, AIIMS, Dr. Alok Thakar, Otolaryngology (Head and Neck) AIIMS, Dr. Govind Makharia, Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutriton, AIIMS, Dr. Vaishali Suri, Department of Pathology, AIIMS, Dr. Ashish Suri, Department of Neurosurgery, AIIMS, Dr. Arvind Chaturvedi, Department of Neurosurgery, AIIMS, Dr. Anju Gupta, Head of Pathology, VIMHANS Hospital, Dr. Amar Bhatnagar, Surgical Oncologist, Safdarjung Hospital, Dr. Aruna Batra, Head, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Safdarjung Hospital, Dr. T. C. Sadasukhi, Department of Urology, Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Jaipur, Prof. N. K. Lohiya, Centre for Advanced Studies, Jaipur.
Dr. Nirmala Jagadish, Sumit Agarwal, Deepak Parashar, Namita Gupta, Swarnendra Singh, Vikash Kumar, Sapna Purohit, Rukhsar Fatima, Aditi Sharma, Amos Prashant Topno
• Gold Medal-Dr. T. C. Anand Kumar Memorial Oration Award-2015 conferred by ISSRF for reproductive tract cancers 2015
• Citation Award for 6th Professor Rabindra Nath Chakravarti- 2014 conferred by Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh in recognition of outstanding contribution in the field of Cancer research
• Prof. L. S. Ramaswami Memorial Oration Award- 2013 conferred by ISSRF in recognition of research contribution in Reproductive tract cancers.
• Drs Anand and Lata “Labhsetwar Cheritable Trust, Labhsetwar Foundation” USA Award- 2011 conferred by ISSRF in recognition of outstanding contribution in the field of Reproductive Health: Cervical Cancer.
• Elected Fellow, National Academy of Medical Sciences (FAMS), India (2013)
• Elected Fellow, The National Academy of Sciences (FNASc), India (2009)
• CDRI fellowship 1990-1991 under United States of America (USAID) program.
• Member of National Academy of Sciences, India, Allahabad 2006.
• Member of Indian Association of Cancer Research (India).
• Member of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India).
• Member of Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction and Fertility (India).