Turkish scientist to contribute to cancer treatments
Ahmet Acar, a Turkish scientist who returned from England to Türkiye in 2020, has decided to establish a tumor bank in the country to conduct vast-scale drug trials on tumors of cancer patients in a laboratory.
Recent studies have proven that tumor organoids show a higher level of similarity with patients’ tumor tissues compared to other experimental models, Acar underlined, adding, “We are planning to test many experimental drugs on organoids by using this technology.”
The tumor bank project, which he had decided to establish in this direction, has reached the final stage, Acar said.
“If everything goes well, I think we will reach our goal in less than a year,” Acar said. The project is supported by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK), through whose program Acar decided to return to Türkiye after having worked as a postdoctoral researcher at different institutes in England from 2012 to 2020.
The expert stated that with the team he founded, they primarly examine the molecules that cause drug resistance in cancer treatment.
“Chemotherapy doesn’t only target cancer cells but can also result in many side effects on patients. The treatment to be applied should be based on the individual genetic profiling of the tumor tissue of each patient,” he said.
Noting there have been innovative practices in this sense in recent years, Acar said that providing treatment to all cancer patients regardless of their socioeconomic status should be prioritized.
Acar also pointed out that they work on artificial intelligence for cancer diagnosis, by which they aim to realize rapid, autonomous and early diagnosis.
“The pace it will provide will reduce the treatment costs that put high pressure on the health system,” he added.