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Cancer genomics research should be more widespread: Varmus

Nobel laureate Harold E Varmus has said that research on cancer genomics needs to be more widespread as it provides a deeper understanding of the disease and helps save a large number of lives. Stressing on the need for gathering genomic data for patients of diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds, Varmus said at present there is enough data for Caucasian white patients but data from other regions like India, Africa is critically required without delay. The medical scientist made the observations while delivering a lecture on 'The transformation of cancer research' at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics here on Sunday. Genomics is the branch of molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution and mapping of genomes. There is a need for a deep rational understanding of how cancer arises and genomics provides a deeper understanding of cancer, he said. He gave some examples of how genomic insights have provided more precise treatment of various t…