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NIH launches comprehensive effort to explore cancer genomics

the National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information. As in the Human Genome Project, TCGA data will be made available to the worldwide research community. This data will provide researchers and clinicians with an early glimpse of what is hoped will evolve into an unprecedented, comprehensive "atlas" of information describing the genomes of all cancers. This atlas will enable researchers throughout the world to analyze and use the data in their own research to develop new diagnostics and therapies for different cancers.

Recognizing that not all technologies needed for high-throughput, cost-effective analysis of the cancer genome are already in hand, TCGA also will support new technology development. Some of these methods will focus on improving current genomic analysis technologies, while others will emphasize new approaches, such as epigenomics. Epigenomics looks at how various small molecules, such as methyl groups, when added or removed from DNA, can have profound effects on gene function. Each component of the TCGA Pilot Project will have clear milestones and goals. Only if the pilot achieves its goals will the full-scale project to develop a complete atlas of the cancer genome move forward.

The Cancer Genome Characterization Centers, Genome Sequencing Centers, and Biospecimen Core Resources will be selected in 2006. Applications and proposals will be reviewed by experts in the field, and awards will be based on merit and programmatic needs of The Cancer Genome Atlas Pilot Project.


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Source:NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute


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