AIIMS, UK varsity ink pact for research in head, neck cancer

Amid rising cancer cases, AIIMS, New Delhi, Monday signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Liverpool, UK, for translational research in head and neck cancer.

The collaboration will result in sharing of researchers and knowledge, and allow the institutes to access high-quality clinical datasets and tissue repositories of the ethnically diverse populations in which the cause of head and neck cancer differ significantly — from tobacco consumption in India to alcohol and HPV infection in the UK.

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Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya presided over the signing of the collaboration agreement.

“The Prime Minister’s dream is that the country should become Ayushman, where health facilities become affordable, accessible and available to every citizen,” Mandaviya said.

So far, the letter of intent has been put together where both the institutes have signed to work together and reduce cancer mortalities.

Festive offer

Dr Alok Thakkar, Professor of otolaryngology & head neck surgery and head of National Cancer Institute, AIIMS, Jhajjar, said the first thing would be a training exchange and exchanges in terms of our scientists.

“What we would like to work on is the problem of unraveling the genetic makeup of tobacco-induced cancer because our head and neck cancer is entirely tobacco-induced, unlike the developed nations where it is more of a HPV virus-induced cancer. That’s why we require our own research,” he said.

The collaboration will build upon the pre-existing collaboration and links between the Liverpool Neck and Head Centre (LNHC), University of Liverpool and the Head and Neck Cancer Unit at AIIMS, New Delhi.

Dr Thakkar said the collaboration is on head and neck cancer, which is the most common cancer in Indian men and on number three in Indian women.