Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Four new projects in cancer genome research in China

Projects will identify genomic drivers for colorectal, oesophageal, liver and nasopharyngeal cancers
The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) today announced four new projects in China to identify the genomic drivers in colorectal, esophageal, liver and nasopharyngeal cancers, helping lay the foundation for developing treatments tailored to patients' individual needs. 
China is a founding member of the ICGC, having launched a gastric cancer project in 2008.
The Consortium leads worldwide efforts to map the genomes of both common and rare cancers and has the goal of identifying cancer-causing mutations in more than 25,000 tumours representing more than 50 types of cancer of clinical and societal importance across the globe.
The Chinese Cancer Genome Consortium's collaborative projects span a network of more than 200 researchers with expertise in next-generation genetic sequencing and have the bioinformatics skills to uncover the complex causes of cancer. Investigators for the four new projects are distributed among 20 hospitals and institutes (listed below) in 13 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.
The new projects emphasize cancer types that are more common in China than the rest of the world. Examples are gastric cancer, esophageal and liver cancers, which occur more than twice as often in China as the rest of the world. Nasopharyngeal cancers occur 70 per cent more often in China.
Dr. Xuetao Cao and Dr. Xuemin Zhang will oversee the four new projects which will be scientifically steered by Dr. Youyong Lu and Dr. Huanming Yang. Dr. Xiuqing Zhang will coordinate the projects in collaboration with prominent scientists from universities/institutes and medical centers in China.
Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China, implicated in nearly a quarter of all deaths countrywide, and the incidence of cancer in China has been increasingly rapidly. Currently, about 2.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer annually and 1.9 million patients die of the disease. The significant investment in cancer genomics in China will enable researchers to mine genetic and lifestyle differences between Caucasian and Asian cancer patients. Comparisons will be possible with current ICGC projects in esophageal, liver and colorectal cancers led by teams in France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"It is our great pleasure to solidify China's important role in the ICGC. We believe that more genomic data from Asian cancer patients will augment the work of existing ICGC cancer projects and promote progress toward making cancer a manageable condition," said Dr. Huanming Yang of the Chinese Cancer Genome Consortium.
Read more: Newswire

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