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Whole genome sequencing used to help inform cancer therapy
Date:2/16/2011

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Feb. 16, 2011 Whole genome sequencing spelling out a person's entire DNA genetic code has moved one step closer to being a medical option for direct patient care.

Physicians and researchers at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) successfully completed sequencing both a single patients normal and cancer cells a tour de force of more than 6 billion DNA chemical bases.

While the whole genomes of several individuals or their cancers have been sequenced in recent years, this is believed to be among the first successful application of whole genome sequencing performed in support of the medical care of a specific cancer patient.

A male patient with pancreatic cancer was the first patient at Mayo Clinic to have whole genome sequencing performed on both his tumor and non-cancerous cells as part of a clinical research project. By comparing the tumor DNA to the patient's normal DNA, researchers found genetic changes (mutations) that were important in helping inform doctors about how best to plan the patient's next treatment. This was a case of using a definable genetic change that could be linked to specific treatment, something believed to be a glimpse into the almost certain future of individualizing cancer care.

Mayo Clinic administered all the clinical aspects of the research. TGen performed the genetic sequencing.

While the Mayo-TGen sequencing was done as part of ongoing research, it signals a major step toward implementation of whole genome sequencing to support clinic treatment options.

"This is a demonstration of the clinical utility of whole genome sequencing," said Keith Stewart, M.B., Dean of Research at Mayo Clinic. "As we do more and more of this, we will move closer and closer to personalized genetic medicine, which means using genetic information to minimize or prevent disease."

Details of this research, its results and impl
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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