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Illumina, National Cancer Center Japan Collaborate on Nasopharyngeal Cancer Study

NEW YORK – Illumina said on Monday that it is collaborating with National Cancer Center Japan on a study of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

The study, part of the Asian Multicenter Prospective Study of Circulating Tumor DNA Sequencing, or A-TRAIN, will analyze blood samples of up to 96 patients using Illumina's TruSight Oncology 500 circulating tumor DNA comprehensive genomic profiling assay. Study leaders hope to use the data to advance personalized cancer treatments.

Financial and other details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

"As nasopharyngeal carcinoma occurs more frequently in Asia and is more difficult to treat, there is a strong need to develop new treatments," Kan Yonemori, principal investigator at A-TRAIN, said in a statement. "A comprehensive genome profiling panel is a powerful tool to help solve this problem by using blood for genetic analysis. We are grateful for Illumina's support in enabling this important research in numerous Asian countries."

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma has a higher incidence in Asian countries than elsewhere around the world. More than 80 percent of new cases occur in Asia, with Southeast Asian countries accounting for 67 percent of total cases. Nasopharyngeal cancer is the ninth most common and eighth deadliest cancer in Southeast Asia.

The A-TRAIN study, led by the National Cancer Center Hospital Japan, also collects genomic and clinical data from patients with cervical, ovarian, endometrial, and breast cancers.

The study will also be conducted as part of the Asian Clinical Trials Network for Cancers project, and the data could be used to establish similar studies in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.