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 first three cancers that will be studied in the pilot phase of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. The cancers to be studied in the TCGA Pilot Project are lung, brain (glioblastoma), and ovarian. These cancers, which collectively account for more than 210,000 cancer cases each year in the United States, were selected because of the availability of biospecimen collections that met TCGA's strict scientific, technical, and ethical requirements.
"The selection of the first three cancer types to be studied by TCGA signals the scientific start of this initiative. Thanks to the tools and technologies developed by the Human Genome Project, scientists can collaborate to determine whether it will be possible to develop a useful atlas of the changes in the human genetic blueprint associated with all types of cancer," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.
It is estimated that 174,470 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2006. Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer-related mortality in both men and women, with an estimated 162,460 deaths expected to occur in 2006. Brain tumors account for nearly 90 percent of all primary central nervous system tumors. It is estimated that 18,820 new cases of brain cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, and 12,820 patients will die from the disease. Glioblastomas, also called glioblastoma multiforme or grade IV astrocytoma, are often fatal, malignant brain tumors that grow and spread very aggressively, and are the most frequently occurring type of brain cancer. An estimated 20,180 new cases of ovarian cancer and an estimated 15,310 deaths from the disease are expected in the United States in 2006. Often detected late, ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproduc
Contact: Geoff Spencer
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute