Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally after cardiovascular diseases. There is relatively low cancer awareness in our country and the burden of cancer is intimately linked to the major socioeconomic inequalities in access to health care. Almost three of five cancer deaths in India are associated with tobacco or infectious diseases.
India has many research institutions that are promoting research in basic biology of cancer. Moreover, research is mostly done in isolation and there is no integration or mission-driven research. The notion of India Cancer Research Consortium was conceptualized to include other aspects of cancer research like prevention, diagnostics, therapeutics, palliative care and innovation along with basic biology.
India Cancer Research Consortium (ICMR-ICRC) was established in July 2019, under the aegis of the Indian Council of Medical Research- Department of Health Research (ICMR-DHR) after recommendation of the 1 st Stakeholders’ meeting held in Feb 2019 with the aim to provide a forum for collaboration among its members to improve cancer outcomes. The ICMR-ICRC will bring together diverse and broad spectrum of organizations working in the area of cancer under one umbrella thus facilitating diffusion of ideas to regional levels.
The proposed activities under the consortium will complement the existing scientific and operational research in cancer. ICMR-ICRC is sending out call for proposals under its thematic areas, which have been formulated by the thematic group members along with the technical advisory group and will address the gaps and challenges in cancer research. We will carry forward the most advanced leads through scale up via industry linkage and validation through clinical trials and promote their adoption into the policies and programmes.
Dr Ravi Mehrotra