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Dr. Murali Bashyam
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Molecular Oncology Group
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Home » Molecular Oncology » Research
Molecular Oncology
Molecular Characterization of early-onset rectal cancer; funded by a Fogarty International Research Collaboration award, National Institutes of Health, USA (2008 to 2011).

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and is perhaps the best understood of all cancers. Although rapid advances have been made in patient management and therapy for most forms of CRC, our understanding of sporadic early-onset rectal cancer (RC) is limited which interestingly forms the predominant subtype among Indian CRC patients. More importantly, rectal tumors are known to be associated with a rapid metastatic spread and poor survival. We have performed the first comprehensive molecular characterization of rectal tumor samples from India. Surprisingly, a significantly high proportion of early-onset rectal tumors (as against late-onset) do not harbor either of the two canonical tumorigenesis pathways namely Wnt signaling and mismatch repair defect that drive a majority of colorectal tumors; the age specific difference is not significant in colon tumors. Interestingly however, the Wnt- early-onset rectal tumors exhibit extensive chromosomal instability, as determined through microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization. In addition, KRAS mutation is significantly low in early as against late-onset rectal tumors; there is no difference however with respect to p53 status. Efforts are currently underway, using next generation RNA sequencing and genome-wide transcript profiling through microarrays, to understand the biology of this unique CRC subtype. In parallel, our comprehensive studies on the familial cancer syndrome Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer has revealed involvement of novel genes among Indian patients.

Fig.1. Identification of differential copy number alterations in Wnt- microsatellite stable early-onset rectal cancer (RC). aCGH carried out on genomic DNA isolated from early-onset RC samples reveal a recurrent amplification at 17q12 harboring ERBB2 and GRB7 oncogenes.
Raman Ratheesh: Research Associate; Best poster award at the Global Cancer Genome Consortium meeting, November 19-20, 2012
Raju Kumar: SRF
K Viswakalyan: Research Assistant
Pratyusha Bala: JRF
V Chandrashekhar: Junior Project Technician
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Email: bashyam<at>cdfd.org.in

Phone: +91-40-24749383
Fax: +91-40-24749448
Last updated on : Monday, 15th December, 2014.

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