International Cancer Genome Consortium plans to sequence 25,000 cancer
genomes

TORONTO, April 14 /CNW/ - The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) today set out its bold plan to decode the genomes from 25,000 cancer samples and create a resource of freely available data that will help cancer researchers around the world. The document outlines research design and projects as well as the important ethical framework for this science. The ICGC also announced that new members have joined the consortium. New projects in Italy and the European Union will contribute to efforts already underway in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Funded projects will examine more than 10,000 tumors for cancer types found around the globe that affect a diversity of organs including blood, brain, breast, colon, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, stomach, oral cavity and ovary.

Published today in the journal Nature is a paper written by over 200 authors participating in ICGC projects. The paper describes how the projects will proceed, outlining the ethical framework, study design and policies. ICGC leaders will also present progress on their projects at the annual conference of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington DC, April 17-21, 2010.

Studies of breast, liver, and pancreatic cancer have already generated datasets which are now available on the ICGC website at www.icgc.org. The genomic analyses of the tumors were conducted by ICGC members in the U.K. (breast cancer), Japan (liver cancer), and Australia and Canada (pancreatic cancer). The data are housed in the Data Coordination Center which is hosted by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto.

Paul Nurse, cancer scientist and 2001 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine said, "The International Cancer Genome Consortium initiative will profoundly alter our understanding of the development of human cancer, across the spectrum of tumor types. The worldwide, coordinated nature of the project and the plans for data release will facilitate efficient deployment of resources and ensure that all cancer researchers can use the information generated in a timely manner."

"The data released today can be used immediately by researchers who are working on better ways of preventing, detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer," said Eric S. Lander, President and Director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and a member of ICGC. "The ability to identify the genetic changes in cancer is leading to new ways to devise therapies directed at the underlying cellular mechanisms of cancer and to target the right therapies to the right patients. We are moving into an era where the prescription for cancer treatment should be based on the genetics of each patient's tumor."

The International Cancer Genome Consortium is one of most ambitious biomedical research efforts since the Human Genome Project. The Consortium will help to coordinate current and future large-scale projects to understand the genomic changes involved in cancer. ICGC member organizations and participating centers have agreed upon common standards for informed consent and ethical oversight to ensure that all samples will be coded and stored in ways that protect the identities of the participants in the study. To maximize the public benefit from ICGC member research, data will be made rapidly available to qualified investigators. In addition, all Consortium participants will agree not to file any patent applications or make other intellectual property claims on primary data from ICGC projects.

Worldwide, more than 7.5 million people died of cancer and more than 12 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2007. Unless progress is made in understanding and controlling cancer, those numbers are expected to rise to 17.5 million deaths and 27 million new cases by 2050.

Once thought of as a single disease, cancer is now understood to be the result of genetic mutations in cells which disrupt normal functions leading to uncontrollable growth. Because mutations are often specific to a particular type or stage of cancer, systematically mapping the changes that occur in each cancer could provide the foundation for research to identify new therapies, diagnostics and preventive strategies.

For more information and updates about ICGC activities, please visit the website at: www.icgc.org.

    
    Contact:

    Canada
    ------
    Rhea Cohen
    Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
    Telephone: 416-673-6642
    Mobile: 416-671-2846
    E-mail: rhea.cohen@oicr.on.ca

    William Raillant-Clark
    Media Relations Office, McGill University
    Email: william.raillant-clark@mcgill.ca
    Phone: 514-398-2189

    Australia
    ---------
    Simon Tidy
    simon.tidy@nhmrc.gov.au
    Telephone: +61 422 008 512

    Alison Heather
    Garvan Institute of Medical Research
    www.garvan.org.au
    Ph: +61 2 9295 8128 or 0434 071 326
    E-mail: A.heather@garvan.org.au

    China
    -----
    Youyong Lu
    Beijing Cancer Hospital/Institute
    Telephone: +86-10-8819-6765
    Fax: +86-10-8812-2437
    Mobile: 13910585508
    E-mail: youyonglu@sina.com

    Feng Chen
    CCGC Secretariat
    Telephone: 86-10-8819-6731
    Cell: 86-13718250675
    E-mail: chenfeng830620@126.com

    Liu Yang
    Cancer Institute, Zhejiang University
    E-mail: yangliuqq2003@yahoo.com.cn

    European Union
    --------------
    Iiro Eerola
    European Commission
    Directorate-General for Research
    Directorate F: Health Research
    Unit F.4: Genomics and Systems Biology
    CDMA -1/4, 1049 - Brussels
    Tel. +32 2 298 4394
    Fax. +32 2 296 0588
    E-mail: iiro.eerola@ec.europa.eu

    France
    ------
    Emilie Martineau
    Institut National du Cancer
    E-mail: emartineau@institutcancer.fr
    URL: http://www.e-cancer.fr

    Germany
    -------
    Axel Aretz
    Project Management Agency
    German Aerospace Center (DLR) Bonn
    Telephone: +49-228-3821-151
    E-mail: Axel.Aretz@DLR.de

    Hong Kong
    ---------
    Emily Hui
    Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    E-mail: emilyhui@ust.hk

    India
    -----
    M.K. Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology
    T.S. Rao, Adviser, Department of Biotechnology
    Telephone: +91-11-24362950, +91-11-24362881
    Fax: +91-11-24362884
    Email: mkbhan@dbt.nic.in, tsrao@dbt.nic.in

    Partha P. Majumder, National Co-ordinator
    National Institute of Biomedical Genomics
    Telephone: +91-33-25892150
    Fax: +91-33-25892151
    Email: ppm@isical.ac.in

    Rajiv Sarin
    Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer
    Telephone: +91-22-27405075
    Fax: +91-22-27412893
    Email: rsarin@actrec.gov.in

    Italy
    -----
    for international

    Rita Lawlor
    ARC-NET
    Telephone: +39-045-8127431
    Fax: +39-045-8127432
    E-mail: rita.lawlor@arc-net.it
    URL: http://www.arc-net.it/index.php/en.html

    for Italy

    Maria Fiorenza Coppari
    University of Verona
    Telephone: +39-045-8028903
    Fax: +39-045-8028029
    E-mail: mariafiorenza.coppari@univr.it
    URL: http://www.univr.it/jsp/default.jsp?lang=en

    Japan
    -----
    Koichi Watanabe
    RIKEN
    Telephone: +81-45-503-9321
    FAX: +81-45-503-9113
    E-mail: koichi.watanabe@riken.jp
    URL: http://www.yokohama.riken.jp/english/index.html

    Tatsuhiro Shibata
    National Cancer Center Research Institute
    Telephone: +81-3-3542-2511
    FAX: +81-3-3547-5137
    E-mail: tashibat@ncc.go.jp
    URL: http://www.ncc.go.jp/index.html

    Yoshihiko Sano
    National Institute of Biomedical Innovation
    Telephone: +81-72-641-9803
    FAX: +81-72-641-9831
    E-mail: ysano@nibio.go.jp
    URL: http://www.nibio.go.jp/index.shtml

    Spain
    -----
    Daniel Mediavilla
    Press Office
    Secretariat of State for Research
    Ministry of Science and Innovation
    Email: Daniel.mediavilla@micinn.es
    Telephone: (++34) 659 995 973

    United States
    -------------
    National Cancer Institute
    NCI Press Officers
    E-mail: NCIPressofficers@mail.nih.gov
    Telephone: 301-496-6641

    National Human Genome Research Institute
    Omar McCrimmon
    E-mail: mccrimmono@mail.nih.gov
    Telephone: 301-402-0911

    Nicole M. Davis
    Director of External Communications
    Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
    o: 617.714.7152
    c: 617.823.3468
    E-mail: ndavis@broadinstitute.org

    Dan Krotz
    Berkeley Lab
    Telephone: 510-486-4019
    E-mail: dakrotz@lbl.gov

    United Kingdom
    --------------
    Jen Middleton
    Media Officer
    Wellcome Trust
    215 Euston Road
    London NW1 2BE
    T: +44 (0) 20 7611 7262
    M: +44 (0) 7534 143849
    E-mail: j.middleton@wellcome.ac.uk

    Craig Brierley
    The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
    E-mail: c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk

    Don Powell
    Press and PR
    Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
    Wellcome Trust Genome Campus
    Telephone: +44 (0)1223 496928
    Mobile: +44 (0) 7753 7753 97
    Email: don@sanger.ac.uk
    Web: http://www.sanger.ac.uk

    The Wellcome Trust is a global charity dedicated to achieving
    extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the
    brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The
    Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the
    application of research to improve health. It is independent of both
    political and commercial interests. www.wellcome.ac.uk


                                 Backgrounder

    ICGC Cancer Genome Projects

    Lead
    Jurisdiction    Funding Organization                          Tumor Type

    Australia       National Health and Medical Research Council  Pancreas
                                                                  Ovary

    Canada          Ontario Institute for Cancer Research         Pancreas
                    Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
                    Canada Foundation for Innovation

    China           Chinese Cancer Genome Consortium              Gastric

    European Union  European Commission FP7                       Breast
                                                                  Kidney

    France          Institut National du Cancer                   Breast
                                                                  Liver

    Germany         Federal Ministry of Education and Research    Pediatric
                    German Cancer Aid                             Brain

    India           Department of Biotechnology                   Oral Cavity
                    Ministry of Science and Technology

    Italy           University of Verona                          Rare
                    Italian Ministry of Education, University     Pancreatic
                    and Research

    Japan           RIKEN                                         Liver
                    National Institute of Biomedical Innovation

    Spain           Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation    Chronic
                                                                  Lymphocytic
                                                                  Leukemia

    United Kingdom  The Wellcome Trust                            Breast
                    Breakthrough Breast Cancer

    The Cancer Genome Atlas Projects

    United States   National Institutes of Health                 Brain
                    National Cancer Institute                     Colon
                    National Human Genome Research Institute      Leukemia
                                                                  Lung
                                                                  Ovarian
    

SOURCE International Cancer Genome Consortium

For further information: For further information: please see contact list above

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International Cancer Genome Consortium

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