High-Tech Glasses
Scientists have developed an eyewear that can help detect cancer cells easily by distinguishing them from the healthy ones. The high-tech glasses serve this purpose by making the cancer cells glow in blue colour. (Robert Boston/Washington University in St. Louis)Robert Boston

Mumbai will host a three-day international conference — New Ideas in Cancer: Challenging dogmas — on Feb. 26-28 at the National Centre for the Performing arts (NCPA). The conference has been organised by the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) ­— one of the largest cancer hospitals in India.

"Oncologists— doctors specialising in cancer treatment — from 22 countries all over the world would be participating in this conference which marks the platinum jubilee (75-year) celebrations of the hospital. Nearly 1,000 delegates have already registered for the conference," Meenakshi Ganeshan, conference coordinator, TMC told International Business Times India.

R Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the government of India, will be the chief guest for the opening ceremony Friday, she said.

The US National Cancer institute(NCI), American Association for Cancer Research and The Lancet Oncology have partnered with the TMC to organise the conference that will challenge the current beliefs and hype about cancer treatment across the world.

"The idea for the conference came from surveying the current landscape of cancer research and treatment and the disappointments that it has brought us. The last decade has been particularly frustrating as we have realised that the hype generated from generated from molecular and genetic 'breakthroughs' is translating neither into a meaningful understanding of the malignant process nor a clinically relevant relief to our patients." the organisers said in an official statement.

The organisers claim clinical research methodologies are being modified "in a desperate attempt to prove scientific approach in cancer treatment right". They said there has been a mere 2-3 percent improvement in the survival chances of cancer patients over the past decade.

International speakers at the conference will speak on themes including genomics and precision medicine, clinical oncology, new ideas in clinical research, cancer statistics analysis, and the lure of technology, which, according to the organisers, may potentially lead to paradigm shift approaches in the perception and treatment of cancer.

At a time when landmark conferences are being organised in the country, India's cancer treatment statistics are still disappointing.

Of nearly 11 lakh cancer cases reported in India in 2015 , the estimated number of cancer patients who received treatment was 3.96 lakh, which is a mere 36 percent, the Times of India reports.

[1 lakh = 100,000| 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]