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

ications for the future, will be included in an upcoming scientific paper.

In 2003, after 13 years and nearly $2.7 billion, the government-funded international Human Genome Project deciphered the first entire human genome sequence. Continuing technological advances now allow scientists to evaluate the entire human genome at a fraction of the time and cost.

"No one thought that this would be possible this soon, and the key now is to combine all medical and scientific information together," said Mitesh J. Borad, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and oncology specialist at Mayo Clinic. "However, we are still very early in the process. A lot of questions will come out of this. But in the long run, this will only help."

Other sequencing techniques such as genome-wide association studies are less expensive tests, but examine only selected portions of DNA. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) looks at the entire genome, giving scientists the most comprehensive view of the potential genetic origins of disease.

" Increasingly we will use information from an individuals DNA sequence to expand from today's attempts to define disease risk to actual disease management," said Jeffrey Trent, Ph.D., President and Research Director at TGen and the former Scientific Director of the federal government's National Human Genome Research Institute. "We recognize our lack of complete knowledge of many of the genetic changes we observe, and how exactly they will align with drugs for treatment. However, the use of new compounds for some leukemias and gastrointestinal tumors with defined genetic alterations is the prototype example of a genetic change matched to a targeted therapy providing profound clinical benefit. Our study is one of a handful now underway that is attempting to identify and then match a gene alteration to a targeted agents."

Performing genomic sequencing on cancerous tumors may provide clinicians with information to treat can
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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