Meet the Researchers

Aparna Sharma, DM

Thoracic medical oncologist

Class of 2023

Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Institute (Jhajjar), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

Genomic characterization of young onset lung adenocarcinoma

Their Story

Dr. Aparna Sharma, is a lung cancer researcher at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. Her study, “Genomic characterization of young onset lung adenocarcinoma in India (YOLA-I study).” is crucial in understanding the surge of early-onset lung cancer in India. By exploring the genetic and environmental factors at play, Dr. Sharma’s work is poised to unveil potential preventive measures and innovative targeted treatments.

One could make a strong case for the notion that medicine is in Dr. Sharma’s blood. Hailing from a family of physicians – her father is a radiation oncologist and her mother a cancer researcher – Dr. Sharma warmly recalls growing up with robust nightly dinner conversations focused on the interactions and discoveries of her intensely dedicated to their work parents. Becoming a physician was always the plan, although her original intentions were not to be a researcher.

Grants Awarded

LCFA/BMS/IASLC Disparities in Clinical Research Grant

About the LCFA-Funded Research

Answering questions about lung cancer genesis and treatment options

There is a lack of genomic data on young onset lung cancer globally. We, in India, are at an advantage in doing this study since we see a higher proportion of this otherwise rare patient population. It would improve our understanding of lung  carcinogenesis at such an early age and might open up new therapeutic avenues. The genomic data generated through this study would be a great resource for researchers in India and globally.

We expect to answer clinically relevant questions about the genesis and treatment options of young-onset lung cancer. If we find genetic susceptibility responsible for the development of lung cancer at an early age, it would pave the way for specific preventive or screening strategies. Somatic mutational signatures would give us the idea of possible biological processes and also of potential environmental risk factors responsible for lung cancer at young age. In addition, there is a high likelihood of identifying novel targetable driver genomic alterations, particularly oncogene fusion in this enriched population which might eventually open up new therapeutic avenues. It would be the most extensive genomic data of Indian young onset lung cancer and an important resource for future research.

Published works