The importance of the research on the tumour microenvironment in the developmental stages of cancer and its role in the prevention of cancer was discussed by the distinguished speakers in the 22nd Plenary session of the 108th Indian Science Congress hosted by RashtrasantTukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University.
Dr Shrikant Anant chaired the session. He is a pioneering biologist with a national reputation in gastrointestinal cancer research. His research spans a wide range of activities from understanding molecular biology questions to determining the mechanisms of action for various natural produces and their role in cancer prevention.
While presenting his research on ‘Epithelial and Immune Cell Crosstalk, A Real Issue In Colorectal Cancer’, he said, ‘We have been looking at proteins that may play a significant role in tumorigenesis’. He went on to explain that immune cells specifically macrophages and T cells infiltrate both colitis-associated cancer and sporadic colorectal cancer. These immune cells are known to play a significant role in the progression of tumours by increasing the ability to divide and grow and then to metastasize. His research demonstrates a significant role of CELF2 in macrophages converting them into tumour-promoting cells in the microenvironment.
Dr Sufi Mary Thomas, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA presented her research regarding head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), low survival rates of HNSCC patients and unsatisfactory outcomes of the existing aggressive therapies.
Dr Dipali Sharma, Professor of Oncology Women’s Malignancies Disease Group, Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA spoke regarding Unraveling the mechanistic connections between Microbiome and Breast Cancer.
She spoke on the risk factors of breast cancer, and how lifestyles, Genetics, Environment, and personal history can be a cause of cancer. Her study found the presence of bacterial DNA present in the human breast. Her research also explores how the breast tumour microbiota composition differs among the races, she took samples of Asian, Black and White women. White and black women are more prone to develop breast cancer than Asian women. On the contrary, Asian women have a higher mortality rate than white and black women. Dr Sharma’s research focuses on investigating the molecular links between obesity, microbiome and breast cancer; emphasizing aspects that have potential clinical significance.
The session was held at the A.K Dorle Auditorium, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, RTMNU. The session was hosted by Divya Joshi, a student, in the Department of Pharmacy. The chair, Dr Anant and the invited speakers were presented with mementoes as a token of gratitude.