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Strand in talks with Union govt for its NGS test for breast cancer to be approved at health camps

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Friday, July 14, 2017, 16:30 Hrs  [IST]

Strand Life Sciences, precision medicine diagnostics major is now in a dialogue with the Union government to mandate new generation sequencing (NGS) test for breast cancer. This is in a bid to spur the government’s preventive healthcare initiative where NGS could be part of the government’s health camps.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) are already aware about our NGS. The burden of breast cancer is increasing steadily. Therefore the need for cost-effective methods of detection, screening and surveillance are of utmost importance. Gene profiling is a game-changer and a precise tool that can decode the complexities of the disease, Dr Vijay, Chandru, CMD, Strand Life Sciences said a press conclave.

Genetic tests for cancer and inherited diseases can be performed in India at a significantly lower cost. This has effectively eliminated the need to send tissue samples abroad for analysis, saving time and money for patients, he added.

The company has released a study on the retrospective research analysis conducted on breast and ovarian cancer which indicates the prevalence of BRCA (BReast CAncer) gene mutations in the Indian population at least three times higher than the western world. The study conducted on a several hundred patients across government and private hospitals to obtain a comprehensive genetic profile for both breast and ovarian cancer, said Dr. Sudhir Borgonha, chief medical officer Strand Life Sciences.

National Cancer Registry estimates breast cancer as the most common among women at 27 percent of all cancers. Recent estimates indicate 1 in every 28 Indian women is likely to develop breast cancer in her lifetime. One in every two women new diagnosed of this condition succumbs to the disease.

“NGS is a preventive healthcare platform. India is poised for preventive care in breast cancer. The Union government’s focusing on non communicable diseases and giving attention to promotive and preventive health care and wellness, we see that technology, science and clinical practices are in a synergy. The country is at the threshold to identify patients of breast cancer at a faster pace,” pointed out Dr Chandru.

New advances in genomic technologies like NGS allow the sequencing and analysis of multiple genes associated with a cancer efficiently at a significantly lower the cost as compared with a disease or cancer efficiently at a significant lower cost, compared to the traditional methods. Our genetic testing is customised for all mutations including larger genetic aberrations which gets missed at times even by widely recognised conventional methods, said Dr. Satish Sankaran, vice president, clinical operations & laboratory director, clinical labs, Strand Life Sciences.


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