Government has announced plans for a Genomic grid for India-specific cancer research.

About the National Genomic Grid

  • The grid to be formed will be in line with the National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) set up at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
  • It will collect samples from cancer patients to study genomic factors influencing cancer and identifying the right treatment modalities for the Indian population.
  • The grid will have four parts, with the country divided into east, west, north and south.
  • The initiative will be taken forward based on the standard operating procedures set by IIT Madras and guidance from ICMR. 
  • To take cancer research to the next level and make treatment viable for people of different economic classes. The genomic samples will help researchers to have India-specific studies on cancers.


The National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) 

  • It is a state-of-the-art non-profit community based tissue bank.
  • It is a joint initiative of 
    • Department of Science and Technology (DST) and 
    • Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM)
  • It is the first of its kind facility in India and is aiming to provide researchers with high quality of cancer tissues and the patient data in order to facilitate cancer research that will lead to improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • A panel of scientists and doctors (Steering committee of the biobank) must approve that the project is scientifically worthwhile and ethics committee must approve the project before bio-specimens are provided to researchers.
  • It has the capacity to stock 50,000 genomic samples from cancer patients, already has samples from 3,000 patients.

About ICMR

  • ICMR,New Delhi is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
  • The Governing Body of the Council is presided over by the Union Health Minister
  • It is assisted in scientific and technical matters by a Scientific Advisory Board comprising eminent experts in different biomedical disciplines.