Title : Genomics based investigation of oral squamous cell carcinoma (oscc) in the north-west of Pakistan
Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas (HNSCC) are the 7th most common malignancies worldwide and have become serious health burdens due to their high incidence and mortality rates. Oral cancer (oral squamous cell carcinoma; OSCC), a subgroup of HNSCC that affects mouth and tongue, accounts for 6th percent of all the cancers with high morbidity and nearly 50 % mortality rate with 50 % late stage detection. OSCC is the most common cancer in certain South Asian countries, such as Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Pakistan ranks among the high-risk head and neck cancer geographical zones with the highest OSCC prevalence in the world. The major well-documented risk factors of OSCC throughout the world include poor oral hygiene, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, areca nut, betel quid chewing, use of naswar, and other environmental and professional exposures. Precision Medicine Lab Peshawar (North-West, Pakistan), funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan undertakes a pilot study that will investigate about 200 samples from local oral cancer patients from Peshawar region under an active collaboration with the local oncologists. The lab will perform Whole-Exome Sequencing (WES) and analysis of OSCC patients. Bioinformatics’ pipelines are being developed in the lab for the downstream analysis. Samples on saliva, stool and blood (as control) from each patient will be collected. In addition, microbiome data on each patient will be generated and finally an integrated multi-omics approach will be followed. We plan to establish a dedicated biobank for oral cancer cell lines in our lab following global best practices. Finally the data generated will be added to the National Cancer Genome Repository (Pakistan’s first cancer genome database) that will be available to local and International oncologists and researchers which will pave the way to personalized cancer care in Pakistan.
Audience Take Away:
- The audience will learn about our work and our lab in general. Our lab is the first of its kind in Pakistan to investigate cancer through genomics. We will do whole-Exome sequencing analysis of the local oral cancer patients (oral squamous cell carcinoma) and will look for variants specifically found in our local population. We will share our findings with local clinicians and oncologists and will establish a National cancer genomics repository. This repository will be accessible to both national and international researchers.
- How will this help the audience in their job? Is this research that other faculty could use to expand their research or teaching? Does this provide a practical solution to a problem that could simplify or make a designer’s job more efficient? Will it improve the accuracy of a design, or provide new information to assist in a design problem? List all other benefits.
- The audience will not only know about our work but we would try to talk to experience researchers for possible collaboration in the future. The prevalence of cancer in general and oral cancer is quite high in our society and there is great scope of collaboration and the initiation of joint projects on genomics and cancer. By talking and sharing our research with experts in the field will help us design better our approaches to the problems we face. This opportunity will help me professionally as well as my lab technically.