Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 462--467

Translational research in oncology: Implications for palliative care


Department of Palliative Medicine, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India; Division of Cancer Studies, King's College London, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Arunangshu Ghoshal
503B, Iris Brook House, Talbot Yard, London SE1 1XT, UK

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_88_17

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The label “translational research” (TR) has become ever more popular in the biomedical domain in recent years. It is usually presented as an attempt to bridge a supposed gap between knowledge produced at the laboratory bench and its use at the clinical bedside. This is claimed to help society harvest the benefits of its investments in scientific research. The past decade has witnessed a remarkable acceleration in the pace of translational cancer medicine – genome sequencing of various human cancers has been broadly deployed in drug discovery programs, diagnostic tests have been developed to predict molecularly targeted anticancer agents, advent of cancer immunotherapies, an enhanced appreciation of the complex interactions that exist between tumor cells and their microenvironment have revolutionized the management of cancers. Treatment for cancer and palliative care (PC) go hand in hand and the role of TR in PC can no longer be ignored. This paper discusses about the scientific discourse of TR in cancer care and its implications for the practice of PC. It starts with a brief reconstruction of the history of the concept and subsequently unravels how the label is used in clinical/research practice. In conclusion, TR seems to be driven by a changed relationship between science and society. “Translation” has become important because society is thought to deserve a tangible return in terms of health and quality of life on its investment in basic biomedical science.






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