MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR – ACTREC
Dr. Shubhada V. Chiplunkar
The Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) has achieved a seamless integration of basic and clinical research, and has evolved as a comprehensive Cancer Centre in Navi Mumbai. In its verdant 60 acre campus lie the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) and the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) that provide a multidisciplinary approach to cancer research and patient care. With a 116 bed Hospital equipped with state-of-the art technology, and 19 Principal Investigator (PI) - led research groups, ACTREC has established itself as a unique model for translational research.
The Clinical Research Centre is fully functional, and its programs encompass novel imaging protocols for cancer diagnosis, molecular hematopathology, clinical trials driven by pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data, and technology innovations that aim to minimize toxicity and achieve high precision cancer therapy. The Hospital at ACTREC offers state-of-the-art treatment modalities in radiation oncology, medical oncology including hematolymphoid cancers and bone marrow transplantation, and surgical oncology including advanced neurosurgery. The digital subtraction angiography (DSA-Cathlab) has been commissioned at CRC-ACTREC. The neurosurgery unit has initiated the use of intra-operative image guided surgery - especially navigable 3D ultrasound based surgery and fluorescence guided resection of malignant gliomas. The bone marrow transplant unit of ACTREC continues to undertake allogeneic and autologous bone marrow transplants, and unrelated donor and cord transplants with improved outcomes. The Clinical Pharmacology unit has optimized treatment protocols through pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling, and early phase clinical trials. Studies are being undertaken to repurpose existing inexpensive drugs for clinical use in various cancers. As a step towards improved patient care, an Out Patient Department has been set up and registrations have been started for patients of Navi Mumbai.
The research programs at the Cancer Research Institute integrate both basic and clinical approaches to address questions related to cancer biology, cancer prevention and development of newer therapeutic modalities. The studies encompass basic tumor biology and delineation of various pathways involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and metastasis. Advanced optical imaging and spectroscopy are enabling the study of cancer related changes at submicroscopic levels, and the structural changes and crystal structures of key proteins in oncogenic pathways are being unraveled. The innovative partnership between ACTREC scientists and clinicians at ACTREC and TMH - facilitated through several intramural and extramural supported projects, has helped in exploring newer avenues in cancer research.
The academic program of ACTREC continues to attract young talent towards its Ph.D. program. The Centre’s campus is abuzz with academic fervor of the research scholars as well as scores of young undergraduates and graduates who come to the Centre for training. The Centre also proactively engages its staff and patients in cultural and arts events, and conducts Cancer Awareness Programs for the general public in a bid towards fulfilling its social responsibility.
The Centre for Cancer Epidemiology will soon be commissioned on the ACTREC campus, and this will add a new dimension to the on-going basic and clinical research programs at ACTREC. In the years to come, ACTREC will establish itself as a Centre that translates discoveries to effective patient care.