Navigation Links
World's largest release of comprehensive human cancer genome data helps speed discoveries
Date:5/29/2012

To speed progress against cancer and other diseases, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project today announced the largest-ever release of comprehensive human cancer genome data for free access by the global scientific community. The amount of information released more than doubles the volume of high-coverage, whole genome data currently available from all human genome sources combined. This information is valuable not just to cancer researchers, but also to scientists studying almost any disease.

The release of this data was announced as a part of a perspective published in Nature Genetics online May 29.

The 520 genome sequences released today are matched sets of normal and tumor tissue samples from 260 pediatric cancer patients. The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project is expected to sequence more than 1,200 genomes by year's end. Each sample is sequenced at a quality control level known as 30-fold coverage, ensuring maximum accuracy. St. Jude researchers are analyzing the genomic sequences to determine the differences between each child's normal and cancerous cells to pinpoint the causes of more than a half-dozen of the most deadly childhood cancers, an effort which has already produced a number of key discoveries reported in top scientific journals.

"This effort has generated more discoveries than we thought possible," said James Downing, M.D., St. Jude scientific director who leads the project at St. Jude. "We want to make this information available to the broader scientific community so that, collectively, we can explore new treatment options for these children. By sharing the information even before we analyze it ourselves, we're hoping that other researchers can use this rich resource for insights into many other types of diseases in children and adults."

Launched in early 2010, the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project is the world's largest effort and investment to date to understand the genetic origins of childhood cancers. The three-year project will cost an estimated $65 million. St. Jude is covering $55 million of the cost, including a $20 million commitment from Kay Jewelers, a long-standing partner of St. Jude. This is the first major privately funded human genome sequencing project to share its data as soon as it becomes available. To date, this type of open access has largely been restricted to government-funded efforts. Non-government efforts are typically treated as proprietary.

"Setting this precedent reflects a commitment to freely sharing information that has been a hallmark of St. Jude since we opened our doors 50 years ago," said Dr. William Evans, St. Jude director and CEO. "The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project is a one-of-a-kind effort, so the information has the potential to accelerate disease research worldwide."

Researchers worldwide will be able to access the sequence data via the Web-based European Genome-Phenome Archive, which provides large datasets for free access by researchers on request: www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/organisations/EGAO00000000046.

While most cancer genome initiatives focus only on genes, which make up a small portion of the genome, the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project researchers have taken a different approach. They are sequencing the entire genome all the DNA in each patient's tumor. This provides a richer, more complete picture of the DNA changes underlying the development and progression of each patient's disease.

"This approach has been more valuable that anyone could have predicted," says Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D., director of The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "We have identified unusual, 'cryptic' changes in many patients' cancer cells that we would not have found using other methods. We are pleased to be able to share this data with the research community in hopes that others can build upon our initial discoveries."

The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has already yielded significant insights into aggressive childhood cancers of the retina, brainstem and blood published in leading international scientific journals. Project researchers working on the eye tumor retinoblastoma discovered clues to the tumor's rapid development that enabled them identify a promising new anti-cancer agent. Investigators studying a deadly childhood leukemia known as early T-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL) found unexpected genetic alterations that could change diagnosis and treatment for patients with this disease. Efforts to understand the genetic changes underlying a brainstem tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) found that a startling 78 percent of the tumors carried changes in two genes not previously tied to cancer. Most recently, project researchers identified a gene mutation associated with a chronic and often fatal form of neuroblastomaa discovery that provides the first clue about the genetic basis of the long-recognized but poorly understood link between treatment outcome and age at diagnosis.

"These findings would not have been possible without the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project," said Downing. He said these results offer new strategies for finding and treating these high-risk cancers. The project has also demonstrated the marked differences between pediatric and adult cancers, underscoring the importance of developing therapies specifically for childhood cancers.


'/>"/>
Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New book reviews ancient and modern worlds of RNA
2. Could cap and trade for water solve problems facing the United States largest rivers?
3. Nottingham researchers lead worlds largest study into pre-eclampsia
4. UI professor identifies largest known crocodile
5. Building the European Unions Natura 2000 -- the largest ever network of protected areas
6. Largest-ever gene study of Type 2 diabetes finds variants across many ethnic groups
7. Largest bird alters its foraging due to climate change
8. Creation of the largest human-designed protein boosts protein engineering efforts
9. Jobs, jobs, jobs on the cover of weekly newsmagazine of worlds largest scientific society
10. Researchers build largest protein interaction map to date
11. Francisco J. Ayala gives $10 million to UCI, largest gift ever by campus faculty member
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging ... product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo ... ... ... News ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a market ... opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it ... from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... it comes to expanding freedom for high net worth ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is still ... system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with a ... second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via investment ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, ... of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design ... of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D ... cost of cancer care is placing an increasing ... of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced ... life sciences incubator to accelerate the development of new ... at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life science ... early stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: