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National Cancer Institute Awards $4M to Brain Tumor Sequencing Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — The National Cancer Institute will provide $4 million in funding to two multi-institute tumor sequencing projects in adult and pediatric brain cancer, a group of cancer research organizations said on Thursday.

According to the Eliminate Cancer Initiative, the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation — which helped organize the efforts — both NCI-funded projects will use single-cell sequencing technologies. The first — called GBM CARE (cellular analysis of resistance and evolution) — is investigating the genomic, epigenomic, and immunological characteristics of adult glioblastoma tumors; and the second — called Project HOPE (high-grade glioma-omics in pediatric and [adolescents and young adults]) — aims to uncover tumor cell types and the tumor microenvironment data missed by traditional sequencing approaches.

GBM CARE includes researchers from Columbia University; the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; the Duke Cancer Institute; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; the Jackson Laboratory; the Mayo Clinic; Massachusetts General Hospital; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Northwestern University; the University of Alabama, Birmingham; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, San Diego; and the University of California, San Francisco.

Project HOPE includes investigators from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; the Children's National Health System; Children's Hospital Los Angeles; the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Hospital; the Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; the Jackson Laboratory; Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center; Seattle Children's Hospital; Stanford University; Texas Children's Hospital; UCSD and Rady Children's Hospital; and UCSF.

The studies will receive $2 million each over two years from the NCI and will be conducted out of nine cancer centers across the US that will share technical infrastructure and resources, and facilitate collaboration between participating institutions.

"GBM Care and Project HOPE are positioned to confront the complexity and treatment resistance challenges brain tumors present, which is necessary to improve the survival rates of glioblastoma and pediatric brain tumor patients," NBTS CEO David Arons said in a statement. "The NCI clearly recognizes that the current status quo in glioblastoma and pediatric brain tumors is unacceptable, and that new efforts such as these are vital to finding better treatments."