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

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

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