Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

AACR: Understanding Tumors with Cancer Genomics

Premium

Monday's AACR session kicked off with a plenary session on the future of cancer genomics. The Broad Institute's Levi Garraway discussed the big picture of cancer genomics, saying that although the prospect of curing solid tumors seems far away — and rather daunting — the key to understanding therapy resistance, and therefore to giving clinicians a chance to better treat their patients, is in using genomics approaches. Treatment resistance continues to be a problem, although the advent of combination therapies is starting to address this problem. Cancer genomics, Garraway said, helps in understanding tumor dependency, developing therapeutics, and understanding how best to get a response from a tumor. Garraway concentrated on one example to illustrate his point — melanoma. Years ago, research showed that RAF and MEK act in melanoma, and RAF and MEK inhibitors were developed to treat patients. However, resistance to these treatments is occurring, and the way forward is to understand the resistance mechanism and optimize therapy by creating effective combinations of drugs. New research into the genomics of melanoma has now elucidated several kinases, like COT and C-RAF, that can cause RAF inhibition resistance, Garraway said. COT had never been implicated in human cancer before, he added, and C-RAF activation has now been shown to confer resistance to RAF inhibition. Using various genomics approaches, researchers have modeled sensitivity to RAF inhibitors in several genes, and have found COT expression in oncogenic BRAF cell lines, which suggests that COT plays a role in resistance. To make this research relevant to the clinic, Garraway and his team looked at melanoma patient tissue samples and found progression of COT expression during treatment and post-relapse. COT isn't entirely to blame for resistance, but does mediate it, Garraway said. And it would not have been found without a systematic genomic approach. Systematic functional genomics "lays out the landscape of resistance," he added.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.