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Analysis Plans

Japan's health ministry has announced a new plan to analyze genomic data from up to 92,000 cancer and other patients to identify new treatment approaches, NHK reports.

According to Asahi Shimbun, about 16,000 samples from patients with lung, liver, childhood, and hereditary cancers will be among the first to be analyzed, alongside about 5,500 samples from patients with other intractable diseases like muscular dystrophy or Parkinson's disease. Some of the cancer samples, it notes, will come from those stored at the National Cancer Center Japan and other institutes, while some samples will be obtained anew from patients. 

After this initial analysis of 21,000 samples, Asahi Shimbun says the project will ramp up. Eventually, the health ministry says it hopes to develop a database of the genomes of Japanese cancer patients, it adds.

"We can know genetic mutations that Japanese are more likely to have by accumulating the data," Satoru Miyano from the Human Genome Center of the University of Tokyo's Institute of Medical Science tells the paper. "It will improve the accuracy of the treatments."