Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Genome mapping leads to atlas for cancer

A lot of work went into mapping the human genome, and now an ambitious team of scientists will take this knowledge and apply it to new cancer discoveries.

The National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute today launched a comprehensive effort to accelerate the understanding of the molecular basis of cancer through the application of genome analysis technologies, especially large-scale genome sequencing. The overall effort, called The Cancer Genome Atlas, will begin with a pilot project to determine the feasibility of a full-scale effort to systematically explore the universe of genomic changes involved in all types of human cancer.

According to National Intitutes of Health Director Elias A. Zerhouni, “This atlas of genomic changes will provide new insights into the biological basis of cancer, which in turn will lead to new tests to detect cancer in its early, most treatable stages; new therapies to target cancer at its most vulnerable points; and, ultimately, new strategies to prevent cancer.” Find the government's news release at the NIH web site.