The Cancer Genome Atlas holds 2nd Conference & Workshop in India

A joint initiative between TCGA, Prashanti Cancer Care Mission, IISER Pune, Persistent Systems, CSIR-IGIB, ICR-UK, and DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance to bring a paradigm shift in precision medicine and improve translational cancer research in India

New Delhi: Centre for Translational Cancer Research (a joint initiative of Prashanti Cancer Care Mission and IISER Pune),  Persistent Systems, TCGA, Institute of Cancer Research(UK), CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance are jointly organizing the 2nd TCGA-themed virtual workshop and conference on December 3-5, 2020. This online conference will be based on the theme ‘Towards Team Science for Multi-omics Cancer Research in South Asia’.
TCGA is a landmark cancer genomics program that molecularly characterized over 20,000 primary cancer and matched normal samples spanning 33 cancer types. This joint effort between the US- National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute began in 2006, bringing together researchers from diverse disciplines and multiple institutions. Over the years, TCGA generated over 2.5 petabytes of genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data. The data, which has already led to improvements in the ability to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer, will remain publicly available for anyone in the research community to use.
On similar lines, the establishment of an ‘Indian Cancer Genomics Atlas (ICGA)’ has been initiated by a consortium of key stakeholders in India led by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India in which several government agencies, cancer hospitals, academic institutions and private sector partners. A brief outline of the proposed Indian Cancer Genomics Atlas is appended below.
The TCGA 2020 conference will be inaugurated at the auspicious hands of Dr Harshavardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences and Vice President of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) , Prof Shekhar Mande (Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India) and Dr. Jean Claude Zenklusen (Director, TCGA, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA) .
During the 3 day online event, TCGA experts and key ICGA stakeholders will deliberate on the vision, design and plans of the ICGA project with regards to common SOPs, operations, logistics and governance models. More importantly, conference sessions will be planned around the central theme of building a culture of team science for undertaking mega-cancer research projects in India and neighboring countries.  Global experts will discuss technical aspects of data/biospecimen/multi-omics studies and applications of Precision Oncology in clinical cancer management.
In addition, eminent translational cancer scientists and onco-clinicians from India and abroad have confirmed their presence at the conference as speakers. Over 1000 delegates representing basic scientists, translational researchers, clinical researchers, genomics scientists, bioinformaticians, bio-statisticians, big-data experts from academia, clinical medicine, industry and governmental agencies are expected to attend. The conference is open to everyone with prior registration.
Prof Shekhar Mande, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India, mentioned “The establishment of an ‘ Indian Cancer Genomics Atlas (ICGA)’ a pan India consortium involving multi-disciplinary teams is a much needed important initiative and can transform cancer management in the country in the times to come. Cancer is an area where genomics offers tremendous promise and ICGA will enable the generation of harmonized Indian data that is critical for ‘personalized therapy’ for the Indian population.”
Dr Jean Claude Zenklusen, Director, The Cancer Genomics Atlas, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA said, “I am glad to be able to help the researchers in India with launching the ICGA project. I am truly amazed at the speed and professionalism shown in launching this effort that can greatly benefit not only the Indian population but humanity as a whole.”
Dr  Anand Deshpande, Founder, Managing Director and Chairman, Persistent Systems, “Persistent Systems is pleased to jointly host the 2nd TCGA Conference and Workshop in India along with its partners. This conference brings together the cancer research community on a common platform to accelerate multi-disciplinary, collaborative and nation-wide initiatives that are clinically impactful. The Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR) and Indian Cancer Genomics Atlas (ICGA) are allied initiatives aimed at tackling the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in South Asia.”