Sathgen Biotech, NCCS & Somaiya Vidyavihar organise symposium on ‘Stem Cells and Cancer- India 2018’

A one-day symposium on “Stem Cells and Cancer- India 2018” was organized by Sathgen Biotech, National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS) and Somaiya Vidyavihar to address the most updated research and information available in the area of cancer stem cell therapy. The symposium brought together renowned personalities in the field of cancer research including Dr Michael Clarke, academicians, research students and industry delegates. Samir Somaiya, Godavari Biorefineries of which Sathgen Biotech is a division said, “Since its inception in 2007 Sathgen Biotech has been working on developing drugs, which could work to eliminate cancer stem cell population, drugs which will also work in combination with existing chemotherapies to eliminate cancer-related mortality. Stem cell therapy is a new targeted method being evaluated by various academic and research groups across the globe.. We believe that collaboration between industry, research centres and academic institutions can work towards finding new and innovative methods to understand cancer and eventually circumvent it.” Dr Michael Clarke, Associate Director of Stanford Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and a pioneer in stem cell therapy of cancer, explained the role of stem cells in the treatment of degenerative diseases. He further added, “There is a need for advancing research in the area of Cancer. Collaborations and discussions like these will bring in fresh new thinking and innovation. New paradigms from analytical tools to a deeper understanding of risk factors; from biomarkers to drug resistance and tumour recurrence are some of the many perspectives that have to be studied. The increase in cancer worldwide and the younger age at which it is occurring needs a clarion call for to come together and find solutions.” Dr Vijay Joshi, Principal K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce said, “The stem cells are mother cells of all cell type and are being used in various diseases to cure the anomaly. In a cancer tumour even after radiation and chemotherapy, a very small fraction of the cell remains alive and cause recurrence of cancer.We need to understand this complexity to have better therapeutic options in future. To explore this new avenue of science individual scientist from fundamental research arena need to come together with industry and academics”. The conference was organised at Somaiya Vidyavihar to enlighten students of Medical and Science College and other colleges about stem cells and cancer, pooling together the recent advances from the scientists and industry Said Kunal D Palan from K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, said “Attending the symposium on stem cells and cancer was an extraordinary experience. There was a lot to learn from the lectures about recent advancements in cancer and stem cell technology. I got to learn a lot from the esteemed dignitariesspeaking atthe conference. I am inspired to work in this important area”. Komal Padhariya, PhD Scholar, from NMIMS Mumbai, who attended the symposium said “I am delighted to be present at the symposium on stem cells and cancer. The conference enlightened many interesting topics in the field of stem cells and cancer for students to work in the future. I’m glad that I was a part of the conference and got to learn so much”. Sathgen Biotech is a division of Godavari Biorefineries Ltd. and is actively involved in anti-cancer drug screening using novel methods. The laboratory has achieved some major breakthroughs in developing few anti-cancer stem cell molecules, which are showing better performance than the standard chemotherapeutic drugs. Shortly, these molecules would be taken ahead for IND filings and further preclinical trials. One of these molecules has received Government of India (BIRAC) grant. Speakers at the conference included renowned personalities in the field of cancer research Dr Sharmila Bapat, National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, Prof Paturu Kondaiah, Professor, Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Dr Anjali Shiras, Scientist G, National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, Dr T R Santhosh Kumar, Scientist F, Cancer Biology, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Dr AnnapoorniRangarajan, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Reproduction, Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Dr Vivek Tanavade, Associate Professor, Division of Biological and Life Sciences, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad, Dr Sandeep Singh, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani, West Bengal, Dr Prashant Kumar, Faculty Scientist, DST – Ramanujan Fellow, Institute of Bioinformatics, Bengaluru, Dr Sanjeev Waghmare, Principal Investigator, ACTREC, Navi Mumbai, Dr Pritha Ray, Assistant Professor, Tata Memorial Centre (ACTREC), Navi Mumbai.