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NIH launches comprehensive effort to explore cancer genomics

ases. In all forms of cancer, genomic changes -- often specific to a particular type or stage of cancer -- cause disruptions within cellular pathways that result in uncontrolled cell growth. TCGA will delve more deeply into the genetic origins leading to this complex set of diseases, and, in doing so, will create new discoveries and tools that will provide the basis for a new generation of cancer therapies, diagnostics, and preventive strategies.

"The goal of studying the human genome has always been to improve human health. The Cancer Genome Atlas Pilot Project represents another bold step in that direction," said National Human Genome Research Institute Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "Such an ambitious venture requires significant planning. Given the genetic complexity of cancer, we are certain to face many daunting challenges in this pilot. But by pulling together some of the best minds in the cancer and genomics research communities, I am confident that the pilot will succeed, and we will go on to develop an atlas that will accelerate cancer research in ways we cannot even imagine today."

NCI Deputy Director Anna D. Barker, Ph.D., said, "The Cancer Genome Atlas Pilot Project is a revolutionary step in cancer medicine that leverages advances in cancer biology, genomics technologies, biorepositories, and bioinformatics for the ultimate benefit of cancer patients. Key challenges for the TCGA Pilot Project include not only addressing cancer's complexity, but also developing the technologies to advance the science of cancer genetics. A better understanding of cancer genetics is part of the overall effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer."

Data and technologies produced by other genomic projects have provided the tools necessary to produce new insights into how and why genetic changes cause cancer. The Human Genome Project, an international effort led in the United States by NHGRI and the Department of Energy, was
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Source:NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute


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