International Cancer Genome Consortium launches new project in Singapore

TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) today announced a new project from Singapore to identify the genomic drivers in biliary tract cancer (cholangiocarcinoma/gall bladder cancer), which will improve the understanding and clinical management of these rare diseases. Led by Professors Bin Tean Teh, National Cancer Center of Singapore (NCCS), Patrick Tan, Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and Steve Rozen, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS), the Singapore team will characterize the mutational landscape of bile duct cancers or cholangiocarcinoma from different parts of the world. Rates of cholangiocarcinoma have been rising worldwide over the past several decades. Globally, the highest prevalence has been in Southeast Asia.

The ICGC project will build upon the Singapore team's existing work, published online today in Nature Genetics, reporting mutations of critical genes in cholangiocarcinoma but also differences in their frequencies related to different carcinogenic exposure or etiologies. The findings have potential clinical implications as they suggest the same cancer type from different parts of the world may require different treatment regimens.

The ICGC Consortium is ahead of schedule in its decade-long goal to generate high-quality genomic data of the genomes of both common and rare cancers and has the goal of identifying cancer-causing mutations in more than 25,000 tumors representing more than 50 types of cancer of clinical and societal importance across the globe.

"Singapore is very proud to be able to contribute to this international cancer genome effort, which ultimately will benefit cancer patients worldwide," said Dr. Khee Chee Soo, Director, National Cancer Center of Singapore and Senior Vice Dean, Clinical and Academic Faculty Affairs, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

"The multi-national work thus far from the Singapore team represents exactly what ICGC is pursuing. Eventually we will be able to compare and contrast the mutational repertoires of a cancer type from different parts of the world," said Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and one of the founders of the ICGC.

As of November 2013, the ICGC has received commitments from funding organizations in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America for 67 project teams in 17 jurisdictions to study over 25,000 tumor genomes.

The ICGC, comprised of research organizations around the world, is committed to making data rapidly and freely available. Cancer genome data are available on more than 8,532 tumors through an Internet portal at Data are available through the ICGC Data Coordination Centre housed in Toronto, Canada and through ICGC data portals in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center in Spain and the Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics in Australia.

Each ICGC member project is conducting a comprehensive, high-resolution analysis of the full range of genomic changes in at least one specific type or subtype of cancer, with studies built around common standards of data collection and analysis.

Current ICGC funding member organizations include:

Australia  National Health & Medical Research Council; Cancer Council New South Wales; Garvan Institute of Medical Research; Queensland State Government; Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland;
Brazil  Pio XII Foundation - Barretos Cancer Hospital; René Rachou Research Center (FIOCRUZ);
Canada  Canada Foundation for Innovation; Genome Canada; Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation; Prostate Cancer Canada
China   Chinese Cancer Genome Consortium; Ministry of Science and Technology; National High Technology Research and Development Program ("863" Program) of China; Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (Observer Status)
European Union   European Commission
France   Institut National du Cancer (INCa)
Germany   Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); German Cancer Aid (DKH)
India   Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology
Italy   Italian Ministry of Education University and Research; University of Verona
Japan   National Cancer Center; National Institute of Biomedical Innovation; RIKEN
Mexico   Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud
Spain   Institute of Health Carlos III; Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
Saudi Arabia  King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre
Republic of Korea  National Center for Cancer Genomics, National Project for Personalized Genomic Medicine, South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
Singapore  The National Cancer Center of Singapore (NCCS); Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS); Duke­NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS)
United Kingdom   Bone Cancer Research Trust; Breakthrough Breast Cancer; Cancer Research UK; EuroBoNeT; Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund; Skeletal Cancer Action Trust (Scat); The Wellcome Trust; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
USA   National Cancer Institute; National Human Genome Research Institute; National Institutes of Health

For more information and updates about ICGC activities, please visit the website at:

SOURCE: International Cancer Genome Consortium

For further information:


Christopher Needles
Manager, Strategic Communications
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Telephone: +01-416-673-8505
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Ms Rachel Tan
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Department
Tel: 6236 9535 / 9754 0842

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