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Norway Launches National Cancer Genomic Medicine Effort

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Norway has kicked off a national collaborative effort to use deep sequencing to discover and use genetic mutations for treating cancer patients and to create a program for using genomic medicine in the clinic.

The Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium will bring together regional cancer centers to create a national diagnostic service combining clinical specialists, medical genomics networks, and the Norwegian Microarray Consortium and FUGE Bioinformatics Platform.

Other partners on the project include St. Olavs Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Haukeland University Hospital, the CancerBioMedicine Centre of Excellence, and the Norwegian Cancer Registry.

Throughout the project, the data NCGC produces will be studied by scientists, clinicians, pathologists, and experts in the health economy.

NCGC said that it aims to reach five specific endpoints within the first three years. First, the partners will look for mutations of known actionable genes that indicate where treatments exist, and all kinase genes across nine cancer types. The collaborators also will establish sampling procedures and logistics, bioinformatics infrastructure, and analyses with pipelines that provide feedback to treatment centers and to the cancer registry. They also will launch prospective studies, implement phase 1 and 2 studies based on initial findings and current knowledge, and undertake educational efforts aimed at the health system and patients.

The consortium also said that its main objectives are to:

• Provide a national network for implementation of personalized cancer medicine in Norway.

• Provide and disseminate methodologies for deep sequencing of tumor material and for identifying somatic mutations.

• Initiate a number of research projects to determine the applicability of mutation profiles from tumors for therapeutic decisions.

• Provide the bioinformatics tools necessary to make the range of mutations clinically interpretable and for national data logistics.

• Establish a nationwide cancer mutation database in collaboration with the Cancer Registry.

• Provide a dialogue on the clinical implementation of personal mutation data.

• Analyze the health economic impacts of improved and standardized access to molecular targeted therapies nationwide.

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