Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

Will understanding Cancer become a data problem? 


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Mains level: Use of Data Analytical Tools in Diagnosis

Why in the news?

WHO reports 33,000 new brain cancer cases yearly in India, highlighting widespread suffering.

What is brain cancer?

  • Brain cancer, also known as primary brain cancer, is an overgrowth of cells in the brain that form masses called brain tumours.
  • It is different from secondary brain cancer, which occurs when cancer that began in another part of the body spreads to the brain

The World Health Organization (WHO) Report:

  • Incidence of Brain Cancer: WHO reports approximately 33,000 new incidences of brain cancer annually in India.
  • Global Cancer Observatory 2020: Brain cancer ranks as the 19th most common type of cancer worldwide.

Use of Data Analytical Tools in Diagnosis:

  • Potential of Data Analytics: Utilization of data analytical tools like Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) can simplify the diagnosis process.
  • Advantages: Data analysis can provide real-time results with precision, reducing the need for invasive procedures like surgeries.
  • Liquid Biopsy: The introduction of techniques like liquid biopsy offers a less invasive alternative to surgery, enhancing patient comfort.

Impact on Risks, Discomfort, and Pain:

  • Reduction of Risks: Adoption of data analytics in diagnosis can lower the risks associated with invasive procedures, ranging from short-term paralysis to death.
  • Enhanced Patient Experience: By offering less invasive alternatives, such as liquid biopsy, patients and their families can experience reduced discomfort and pain during the diagnostic process.
  • Improved Precision: Data analytics enable clinicians to detect genetic patterns indicative of cancer cells, facilitating early detection and treatment planning, ultimately leading to better outcomes for patients.

Way forward:

  • Emphasize the transformative potential of data analytics in oncology research, particularly in simplifying diagnosis and reducing risks and discomfort for patients.
  • Highlight the importance of leveraging innovative technologies like NGS to unlock new possibilities in cancer research and treatment.

Mains PYQ:

Q What are the research and developmental achievements in applied biotechnology? How will these achievements help to uplift the poorer sections of the society? (UPSC IAS/2021)

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