From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : SPAG9
Mains level : NA
The National Institute of Immunology (NII) has received a trademark for India’s First Indigenous Tumor Antigen SPAG9.
- India’s first indigenous tumor antigen SPAG9 was discovered by Dr Anil Suri in 1998 who is heading the Cancer Research Program at NII.
- In a recent development, the SPAG9 antigen has received the trademark ASPAGNII-TM.
- Currently, ASPAGNIITM is being used in dendritic cell (DC) based immunotherapy in cervical, ovarian cancer and will also be used in breast cancer.
What is immunotherapy?
- Immunotherapy is a new approach that exploits the body’s inner capability to put up a fight against cancer.
- With this approach, either the immune system is given a boost, or the T cells are “trained’’ to identify recalcitrant cancer cells and kill them.
- In this personalized intervention, those patients expressing SPAG9 protein can be treated with DC-based vaccine approach.
- In DC-based vaccine, patient’s cells called monocytes from their blood are collected and modified into what are called dendritic cells.
- These dendritic cells are primed with ASPAGNIITM and are injected back to the patient to help the ‘fighter’ cells, or T-cells, in the body to kill the cancer cells.
Why need such therapy?
- DC-based immunotherapy is safe, affordable and can promote antitumor immune responses and prolonged survival of cancer patients.
- The ASPAGNIITM is a true example of translational cancer research and the Atmanirbhar Bharat spirit.
- This will be a real morale boost in affordable, personalized, and indigenous products for cancer treatment.
Answer this PYQ in the comment box:
Q.‘RNA Interference (RNAi)’ technology has gained popularity in the last few years. why?
- It is used in developing gene silencing therapies
- It can be used in developing therapies for the treatment of cancer
- It can be used to developer hormone replacement therapies
- It can be used to produce crop plants that are resistant to viral pathogens
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1, 2 and 4
b) 2 and 3
c) 1 and 3
d) 1 and 4 only
The burden of cancer in India
- Cancer kills 8.51 lakh people in India every year (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2020).
- As per World Health Organization (WHO), one in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 15 will die of cancer.