Navigation Links
New genomics research investigates metastatic childhood cancers

Vancouver, BC In a project supported by Genome BC, a Vancouver pediatric pathologist at the BC Cancer Agency/University of British Columbia is leading the team that will explore the genomes (DNA) of four of the most challenging childhood cancers known. Dr. Poul Sorensen and his colleagues in the Canadian Pediatric Cancer Genome Consortium hope to find the link between primary and metastatic tumours using revolutionary genomics technology and a highly skilled consortium of scientists and clinicians.

Most cancer deaths are not caused by the primary disease; rather, it is the invasion and spreading of mutated cells to distant sites in the body (metastasized tumours) that tend to give a poor prognosis for the patient. Using next generation sequencing to rapidly scan the DNA of primary tumours, metastatic tumours and normal tissue, Sorensen and his team are discovering fundamental differences between primary and metastatic disease tissue. This knowledge will not only help to determine how to better treat childhood cancers but more importantly give insight into how to prevent tumours from metastasizing to other parts of the body. If the team can determine which genetic mutations cause the disease to spread, then appropriate therapies can hopefully be designed and/or re-directed to prevent metastasis.

"There is little known about metastatic disease in either pediatric or adult cancer," says Sorensen. "Our biggest challenge to improving survival is to understand the biology of metastatic disease and how to target it." If the team can determine all possible genetic mutations and study a cohort of samples, they can identify the common mutations and determine which mutation is in fact driving the spread of disease. The motivation for the project stems from a lack of understanding in the background mutation of tumours from primary to metastatic progression. "It is imperative to understand metastases and this is an area that has not been well researched on a genomic level internationally," Sorensen adds.

The team will focus on medulloblastoma (brain cancer), metastatic osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and two other types of pediatric brain tumours to uncover genetic abnormalities that direct tumour cells to spread or become resistant to treatment. They will examine and directly compare the genetic signature of each of these diseases in primary tumour cells and tumour cells that have metastasized or relapsed. These studies will produce a first-time view of the tumour genomes in these diseases. This insight not only provides immediate potential for improving tailored therapies for children with these lethal cancers, but will enable the future development of new drugs for patients who otherwise have limited options for treatment.

"Genome BC is thrilled to be funding this essential and ground-breaking work. Our hope is that the results from this research will impact not only on childhood cancers but to shed light on the link between primary and metastatic tumours for all cancer patients," says Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC.

"Having the genetic, biological and clinical expertise in Vancouver makes this an ideal place to lead this research. The research team has access to rare samples and can tap into an international network to allow for a quick and easy liaison from bench to bedside," says Sorensen. The mutational landscape of cancer cells is nearly impossible to find with only one tumour to analyze; however, with a national network and international linkages the team can begin to make the imperative connections between normal and mutated genes across a larger group of cases.

The $2.8 million (CDN) research project is also funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Genome Canada, Genome Quebec and the C17 Research Network.


Contact: Jennifer Boon
Genome BC

Related medicine news :

1. Promise of genomics research needs a realistic view
2. NHGRI charts course for the next phase of genomics research
3. La Jolla Institute to develop San Diegos first center for RNAi genomics research
4. Radiation pharmacogenomics identifies biomarkers that could personalize cancer treatment
5. St. Jude researcher receives grant to focus on cancer pharmacogenomics in children
6. Genentech uses Complete Genomics human genome sequencing service to compare tumor and normal genome in patient with non-small cell lung cancer; results published in Nature
7. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and OpenHelixTM Announce an Updated Free Tutorial Suite for VISTA: Tools for Comparative Genomics
8. Compound used to block cholesterol could also kill breast cancer, MU researcher finds
9. Queens University researcher connects cannabis use and sexual dysfunction
10. Research uncovers a secret society connecting through the Internet
11. $1.9 million NIH grant supports research in the most common soft tissue tumor in children
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the ... Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families ... to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent ... “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. ... years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) ... held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, ... organization dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded in battle and their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future ... today online at by the Diabetes ... stand in the way of academic and community service ... scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it ... Supplier Horizon Award . One of 12 ... recognized for its support of Premier members through exceptional ... excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... recognition of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANKLIN, Tenn. , June 23, 2016 ... for automating, integrating and transforming the patient ... launch of several innovative new products and ... depth of its revenue cycle offerings. These ... establish more efficient workflows, remain compliant in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: