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Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women's launch large-scale genomic database project
Date:10/24/2011

BOSTON -- Committed to speeding the development of cancer treatments that target the genetic weaknesses in each patient's tumor, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital have launched Profile, a major effort to scan tumor tissue from adult cancer patients for hundreds of gene mutations linked to cancer.

The program, nearly two years in development, is one of the most extensive research projects in cancer genomics yet undertaken nationally. Open to every adult cancer patient seen in the Brigham and Women's and Dana-Farber Longwood Medical Area clinics, the program aims to build a comprehensive database for research into the genetic makeup of different cancer types and, ultimately, into treatments that are most effective against individual tumors. (The program will be extended to pediatric cancer patients at Dana-Farber and Children's Hospital Boston in the coming year.)

Clinicians at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center currently use targeted therapies that pinpoint genetic mutations in a select number of cancers, including colon, lung, breast, and some leukemias and sarcomas. The new research program is focused on identifying a far greater number of mutations for a wider array of cancers, ultimately enabling clinicians to treat more cancers with targeted therapies in the future.

"Profile will put us firmly on the path to realizing the promise of personalized medicine. By 'genotyping' each tumor identifying the set of mutations that drive it we'll be able to design therapies geared specifically to those mutations, depriving the tumor of the ability to sustain itself while producing a minimum of side effects," says Dana-Farber's Chief Scientific Officer Barrett Rollins, MD, PhD, one of the architects of the program. "We're laying the foundation for the development, testing, and implementation of such therapies, and we expect the project to grow as we discover new cancer-related gene mutations and wi
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Contact: Bill Schaller
william_schaller@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-4090
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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