MEDICAL ONCOLOGY
CANCER BIOLOGY

Prof. T.S Ganesan graduated from JIPMER, India and subsequently trained in medical oncology at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. He completed his Ph.D from the University of London. He was appointed as ICRF/CRUK Senior Clinical Scientist at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Reader at Oxford University and Consultant Medical Oncologist at the ICRF/CRUK Medical Oncology Unit, Churchill Hospital (1990-2005) at Oxford. In India, he was appointed as Chairman of the Cancer Institute and Institute of Molecular Medicine (2005-2012) at Amrita Institute of Medical Science and Research, Kochi, Kerala. He joined Cancer Institute (WIA) as Professor in Medical Oncology from 2012. In addition to his own scientific interests, he is responsible for clinical research at the institute


FOLLOWS


Firstly, the study of cancer stem cells is to understand how cancer develops- in general. The aim is to identify and characterize these cancer stem cells and study their properties. If the cancer stem cell hypothesis is correct then targeting these cells will be very important for management of patients with cancer. We plan in the first instance to isolate cancer stem cells from common tumours such as ovarian, breast cancer and study their properties. This we plan doing by combination of approaches, which include bioinformatics, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. Signaling in these cells is going to be vitally important to understand the differences between these cells and other malignant cells within the tumour population.


The second area of research is to try and understand signaling pathways, which are commonly affected in cancer. Usually, cells are stimulated by signaling through receptors which are on the surface of the cells. These are increased in expression or amplified at the gene level in cancer. This has led to the discovery of specific small molecule inhibitors which target type I and type III receptors tyrosine kinases. We plan to study signaling mechanisms of these receptors tyrosine kinases by using small molecular inhibitors which are in the clinic adopting a combined approach of protein electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. This will help us to define better the downstream phosphoproteins and also increase our understanding how these receptors signal normally and in cancer. In addition to the above, there are several translational research projects that are being undertaken, where clinical fellows work in the laboratory.