An important Step by ITU MOBGAM toward Early Diagnosis of Colon and Breast Cancer
Oct 05, 2016


It is alarming that the number of cancer patients is on the rise, the reasons for which include, inter alia, industrial plants burgeoning without adequate overseeing or environmental measures, consuming unorganic produce, and increased reliance on fast food for nutrition. However, in the face of increasing cancer rates, various countermeasures are being taken, and recent discoveries of new diagnosis and treatment techniques promise hope for cancer treatment.

ITU Dr. Orhan Öcalgiray Molecular Biology-Biotechnology & Genetics Research Center (ITU MOBGAM) is also working toward advancement of cancer research. As part of its cancer research, the Centre has taken an important step with the joint project carried out with the Association of Public Hospitals Northern Anatolian Region of Istanbul. The project is entitled “Advanced Genetics Laboratory for Screening Tests for Individuals with Familial Cancer Syndrome” and supported by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Development, and Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA). Supported by ISTKA Innovative Istanbul Financial Support Program, the Laboratory offers new prospects for early diagnosis of colon and breast cancer.

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The project, run in ITU MOBGAM’s GLAB (Genomic Laboratory), involves conducting Genetic Sequencing Tests for individuals with colon and breast cancer and their relatives since hereditary factors are known to play a major role in the development of these two commonly encountered cancer types. The tests aim to detect in advance people with high breast and colon cancer risk, thereby making it possible to take necessary measures required for early diagnosis.

Also supported by ITU Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca, the project will allow ITU MOBGAM, renowned for the work of its staff experienced in the field of genetics and molecular biology and biotechnological applications, to use ITU’s life sciences expertise for public good.

Genetic Sequencing Tests will make preventive treatment possible

The main goal of the research initiated at our university was to enable Istanbulites to receive up to date and quality health care services. With this goal in mind, the Centre aims to establish a genetics-based biotechnology infrastructure as a common good and bring together natural and clinical sciences under the umbrella of R&D. GLAB commented on the issue saying, “The tests we conduct will allow us to provide the public with preventive breast and colon cancer measures. We have collected blood samples from four hundred cancer patients and completed Genetic Sequencing Tests of three hundred. During test procedures, we looked into the relevant genes and gene mutation of high-risk individuals.”

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The project gained momentum through cooperation with ITU

The project entitled “Advanced Genetics Laboratory for Screening Tests for Individuals with Familial Cancer Syndrome” will also help wider adoption of biotechnological applications and more accurate analyses of medical big data. The greatest promise of these developments is that the resultant scientific findings will serve public good and early diagnosis of cancer achieved through interdisciplinary treatment of data will reduce cancer rates. Also, the data will be subjected to holistic analyses, and a gene mutation map of Turkey will be drawn.

It is no surprise that state hospitals, seeking to adopt new technologies and increase their R&D capacity, prefer to cooperate with ITU MOBGAM since cooperating with an institution of such an undisputed reputation in life sciences increases the credibility of such projects. Within the scope of the Project, all patients visiting Umraniye Training and Research Hospital and Goztepe Training and Research Hospital for breast and colon cancer cases are included in screening network of GLAB. Through this network, practitioners contact patients and examine their profiles in the light of available data.

We hope that the Project, supported by ISTKA Innovative Istanbul Financial Support Program and jointly run by GLAB and Association of Public Hospitals Northern Anatolian Region of Istanbul, will serve the people of country, and we thank all parties who have contributed to it.

Please visit www.glab.info.tr for further information about GLAB.