IIT-G inks MoU with NECHRI to enhance cancer research, help NE patients



The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute (NECHRI) at Jorabat to enhance collaborative research to identify cancer susceptible population in the Northeast.

Both IIT Guwahati and NECHRI have been engaged in identifying novel biomarkers for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and recurrence.

“This collaboration has already identified novel targets for oral cancer (a leading cancer burden in India) drug discovery. This research has been published in highly reputed international journal Biomolecules in 2019 More research publications are underway,” informed a statement issued from IIT-G on Wednesday.

Based on the results, both IIT Guwahati and NECHRI have been conducting research to develop novel drugs to treat oral cancer. Besides, both institutions are engaged in developing various strategies to help cancer patients from the region.

“The MoU will enable IIT Guwahati and NECHRI to strengthen more collaboration and to help cancer patients from the northeast region. The institute has already obtained over 500 cancer samples from patients registered with NECHRI. The researchers involved in this collaboration are currently examining the samples to identify novel prognosis, therapeutic and recurrence biomarkers for the better management of the patients from Northeast region,” the statement said.

Recently, a joint project proposal has been submitted by NECHRI and IIT Guwahati to ICMR to identify novel therapeutic targets for Triple Negative Breast Cancer from Northeast patients. Besides, both the institutions have shared their expertise as resource persons in different conferences and workshops organised.

Commenting on the MoU, IIT-G director T. G. Sitharam said, “IIT Guwahati has world-class expertise and infrastructure in cancer research. This MoU aims to start a more active collaboration with NECHRI and to identify different biomarkers for the early diagnosis of cancer and cancer drug discovery.”

Munidra Narayan Baruah, managing director and chief physician of NECHRI, said, “Cancer diagnosis and treatment is expensive, therefore most patients in India cannot afford it. However, this collaboration with IIT Guwahati is historic and would help us develop indigenous instruments, diagnostic devices and drugs that are affordable for our population through an interdisciplinary approach.”

(Edited by Andre Kongri)