CANCER GENOMICS AND THERAPEUTICS

Cancer Genomics and Therapeutics Group

Cancer is one of the most noxious diseases of the 21st century.  Human and animals are suffering from different types of cancer. Animals, particularly the canines (pet animals) have more frequent cancer as compared to human and they can be used as animal models to study human cancers.  Among the most often occurring types in humans are cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, ovary and colon. In the past and present, massive public efforts have been made to explore the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and remedial option for a large selection of tumour types and other malignant diseases. There are many exogenous and endogenous risk factors that affect the tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes (The genes involved in normal cell division). Tumour viruses, chemical carcinogens, natural chemicals, herbicides, physical carcinogens like radiation are exogenous factors while inherited genetic defects, Immune system, hormonal factors are among endogenous risk factors.  Although a lot of work has been done to find the genes involved in different cancers, but still there is  a need to find out the  target genes  and their mutations involved in any particular cancer  of any specific population.

In this regards “Cancer Genomics and Therpeutics Group” at CAMB  is working to find out the genetic causes of this deadly disease. The major objective of this research group is to identify the marker genes (tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes) responsible for cancer pathogenesis and progression using high throughput methodologies and wet lab validation. These novel markers will be used for diagnosis of cancer types and this will be helpful for early treatment of cancer. Among recent projects, this group is working on animal cancers in collaboration with University of Cambridge, UK and also working to  understand the cancer genetics of breast cancer patients (human) in Pakistan. In South Asia, Pakistan has one of the highest numbers of breast cancer patients (women) and unfortunately 60-70% of breast cancer patients are in advanced stage III and IV. This project is funded by the startup research grant (Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan). In future this group is planning to work on the drugs/therapeutics which may be affective for treatment of any particular cancer type in Pakistan and making collaboration with different Universities of Pakistan.