Within the nuclei of the cell, genes direct and control the entire cell's function. They determine how and when the cell divides and grows. Normal cells follow the genetic signals to reproduce exactly at the right time, stick together in the right place and degenerate when they are damaged. Cancer cells are different. Cancer involves a series of gene mutations or changes. Once this change takes place, cells no longer act normally as they should do. Thus, cancer is actually a genetic disease of the cell. However, not everyone with a risk factor for cancer, such as smoking, will necessarily get cancer. Cancer develops gradually as a result of a complex mix of factors related to the environment, to lifestyle and to many other factors.
The most effective approach to controlling cancer is to prevent its occurring in the first place. By applying existing evidence-based knowledge, it is possible to prevent about 40% of cancers yearly throughout the world. Another 30% of cancer cases each year can be treated successfully if detected early. Despite unprecedented scientific and clinical advances in understanding, diagnosing and treating cancer, there remains a growing gap between what is scientifically known and what is practically applied.
Major Research Focus
The MRIN is founded with the aim to conduct innovative research in cancer, to understand the association of gene mutation or changes with cancer development in Indonesian patients. By using genomic and proteomic approach, we currently study the association of hepatitis B and C viruses genotype and mutation with liver cancer development; the immune response of certain biomarkers for developing innovative immunotherapy intervention strategies for the treatment of cancer. We use candidate gene approach and SNP microarray to identify novel cancer susceptibility loci and to evaluate genetic variations in relation with drug response, so to obtain evidence-based data for cancer prevention and early diagnosis.