Researchers from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine have published "the world's largest collection of genetic data on childhood cancers," reports BBC News' Emily Selvadurai. The researchers, who formed the US Pediatric Cancer Genome Project in 2010, mapped the whole germline genomes and cancer genomes of 260 pediatric cancer patients in an effort to find all the differences between their germline and tumor DNA. The work, which they discuss in Nature Genetics, has already led to a new treatment for retinoblastoma, Selvadurai says. The PCGP Consortium has also made its data available to researchers worldwide at the European Genome-phenome Archive website.
"We have identified unusual, 'cryptic' changes in many patients' cancer cells that we would not have found using other methods," says Richard Wilson, a member of the consortium and head of the Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine, in a statement. "We are pleased to be able to share this data with the research community in the hope that others can build upon our initial discoveries."