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NCI Taps Broad, MD Anderson to Serve as Genome Characterization Centers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Cancer Institute has selected the Broad Institute's Genomics Platform and the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center to serve as data-production centers for a five-year project that aims to characterize molecular changes found in tumors.

These so-called Genome Characterization Centers will generate and analyze data from three NCI-funded projects. One is the Exceptional Responders Initiative, which aims to explore molecular events involved in extraordinary individual responses to otherwise unsuccessful targeted experimental cancer therapies.

A second project is the Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trials, which is aimed at providing molecular data for biomarker classification and genomic characterization of lung cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials. The third is the Cancer Driver Discovery project, which aims to provide additional statistical power to discover driver mutations in lung, colon, and ovarian cancer.

As part of the NCI effort, the Broad will generate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequencing data from patient tumors for the three projects. For its part, the MD Anderson GCC will perform genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomics analysis of patient samples collected from these studies. The center will use reverse phase protein arrays to investigate tumor tissue.

MD Anderson will also support the efforts of the NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, the Cancer Trials Support Unit, and the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program.

The GCCs are funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.