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Genomics Consortium Launches $20M Prostate Cancer Project

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The International Cancer Genome Consortium today announced the launch of a C$20 million ($20.2 million) initiative to map the genetic structure of prostate cancer in hopes of developing new ways to diagnose and treat the disease.

The project, called The Canada Prostate Cancer Genome Network, or CPC Gene, aims to identify mutations in the DNA sequences of prostate cancer. Such information can then be used to better detect tumors, assess tumor aggressiveness, and identify best treatment courses, ICGC said.

Up to C$15 million for the initiative is being provided by Prostate Cancer Canada, and C$5 million is being funded by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

CPC Gene will be led by Robert Bristow, senior scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute, and will include researchers from Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Toronto; Kingston, Ontario; and Montreal.

CPC Gene is one of 37 research projects funded by ICGC in 13 jurisdictions worldwide, the consortium said. Last month, a $10.1 million project by German researchers was announced, also as part of ICGC.

"We anticipate that within five years, gene-based diagnoses will help physicians in determining which patients require more intensive therapies and which patients would benefit from careful monitoring, a process called 'watchful waiting,'" Tom Hudson, president and scientific director or OICR, said in a statement. "It is also expected that some prostate cancer mutations detected by CPC Gene will stimulate the development of new cancer drugs."