Cancer – Genome Wide Association Study

Cancer management and research in Nepal has been historically given a low priority. However, past studies have shown an overall increasing trend in cancer incidences in Nepal since 2003. In LMCs like Nepal where basic cancer treatment options are not widely available, or comes at a high cost when available, strategies that focus on early cancer detection like screening are very important. Recent introduction of modern parallel sequencing technologies like Next-generation sequencing (NGS) with “liquid biopsy” has now revolutionized the field of cancer molecular profiling by enabling rapid multi-gene sequencing for a wide range of cancer types. Such technologies have massive potential to become a broadly applicable, effective, significantly less invasive and feasible population-based screening tool. However, studies that explore this potential at a population-level are very rare in the world, and in countries like Nepal its almost non-existent. With our Cancer project we plan on conducting a population-based descriptive genome-wide association study in Nepali communities - for the first time in the country - to detect wide range of cancer risk factors (genetic as well as non-genetic) and explore the possibility of introducing “liquid biopsy” as one of the screening modalities in cancer management.