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New genomics research investigates metastatic childhood cancers
Date:2/22/2011

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.


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Contact: Jennifer Boon
jboon@genomebc.ca
778-327-8374
Genome BC
Source:Eurekalert

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