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Cancer Research UK Launches Nine Sequencing-Based Genomics Projects

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Cancer Research UK has launched the Genomics Initiative, a series of nine research projects that will use next-generation sequencing "to address specific research questions that until now were impossible to answer," the charity said last week.

Funding for the initiative comes from Cancer Research UK's Catalyst Club, an effort to raise £10 million ($15.6 million) for various projects to advance personalized medicine for cancer. The organization did not say how much funding the initiative will receive.

The following studies are part of the Genomics Initiative:

- Nazneen Rahman from the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton will analyze the exomes of 1,000 individuals with familial breast cancer to identify new breast cancer predisposition genes.

- Ian Tomlinson from the University of Oxford will try to identify predisposition genes for hyperplastic polyposis syndrome and colorectal cancer.

- Jude Fitzgibbon at Queen Mary, University of London, will work on the molecular basis of the transformation of follicular lymphoma to aggressive diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

- Richard Marais from the Institute of Cancer Research in London will analyze the genomes of rare melanoma subtypes by next-generation sequencing to discover new drivers and therapeutic targets.

- Chris Jones, also at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, will sequence pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

- Dominique Bonnet from Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute will perform next-generation sequencing of leukemic stem cell fractions.

- John Neoptolemos from the University of Liverpool will conduct whole-genome sequencing of pancreatic cancers from patients selected from the European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer trials to identify novel pathways and networks determining response to chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy.

- Charles Swanton from Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute will study intra-tumor genetic heterogeneity in renal cell carcinoma through multi-region exome sequencing to inform biomarker discovery strategies.

- Tim Bishop from the University of Leeds will study melanoma in people without phenotypic susceptibility.

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