International Genomics Consortium, TGen to lead Biospecimen Core for Cancer Atlas pilot project

Phoenix AZ, September 13, 2006 -- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced the selection of the International Genomics Consortium (IGC) in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to lead the Human Cancer Biospecimen Core Resource (BCR) component of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pilot project.

The Human Genome Project was completed in 2003. Earlier this year, NIH announced the launch of TCGA, a comprehensive effort to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer through the application of genome analysis technologies, especially large-scale genome sequencing.

Cancer is now understood to include more than 200 different diseases. In all forms of cancer, genomic changes--often specific to a particular type or stage of cancer--cause disruptions within cellular pathways that result in uncontrolled cell growth. TCGA will delve more deeply into the genetic origins leading to this complex set of diseases by collecting and cataloguing a variety of individuals' cancer specimens as well as information on their specific disease. In doing so, TCGA will accelerate new discoveries and tools that will provide the basis for a new generation of cancer therapies, diagnostics, and preventive strategies.

TCGA is a 3-year pilot project to determine the feasibility of cataloging the genomic changes associated with a set of human cancers. The pilot will involve cancers that will be chosen for their value in helping to determine the feasibility of a possible larger-scale project.

"The faculty of IGC and TGen are uniquely qualified to direct this component of the TCGA and their participation and leadership will be crucial to TCGA's success," said Dr. Bert Vogelstein, Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center o

Contact: Galen Perry
The Translational Genomics Research Institute

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