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Cancer categories recast in largest-ever genomic study
Date:8/7/2014

s the project proceeded, however, commonalities across cancer types began to emerge, which led to the creation of the TCGA "Pan-Cancer" project, the source of the data used in the new study.

"This is the first time ever you've been able to point to important molecular features shared by basal breast cancer, and by squamous head-and-neck cancer and lung cancer," said Wolf. "And the same is true of immune activationwe found that different cancer types have very similar immune signatures, a factor that may be relevant clinically with the rise of new immune therapies."

Benz thinks the number of patients eligible for reclassification will swell when more tumor samples and additional tumor types are included in the Pan-Cancer project's next round of analysis, which is expected to include more than 20 different tumor types. "We're just appreciating the tip of the iceberg when considering the potential of this multi-platform type of genomic analysis," Benz said. "It could be that as many as 30 or 50 percent of cancers need to be reclassified."

Benz is hopeful that these studies will fuel clinical trial designs based on genomic reclassification of tumors whereby patients become eligible for novel therapeutics. "Although follow-up studies are needed to validate and refine this newly proposed cancer classification system," Benz said, "it will ultimately provide the biologic foundation for that era of personalized cancer treatment that patients and clinicians eagerly await."


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Contact: Peter Farley
peter.farley@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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