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South Korea Backs Jackson Lab in Mouse Model, Sequencing Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Jackson Laboratory and Seoul National University will use a $7.5 million grant from the South Korean government to support a cancer genomics project aimed at developing new mouse models and a tumor repository, Jackson Lab said today.

The partners plan to use genome sequencing and develop mouse models that can serve as hosts to human tumors for screening cancer treatments.

Over the first two years of the four-year project, the collaborators will collect, store, and conduct sequencing on tumors from patients with gastric, breast, colon, lung, and rare cancers. Over the second phase, they will move the study toward the clinic by developing a personalized drug screening system and launching a clinical trial network for screening medicines.

Charles Lee, director of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, will lead the effort to develop hundreds of new mouse model systems for various cancers. These patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models will enable investigators to conduct detailed functional studies of the cellular and genomic characteristics of specific cancers.

The Jackson Lab team also will build a publicly accessible library of anticancer drugs and create a drug efficacy screening system based on patient-derived primary cell lines and the PDX mouse models. The team expects to discover genetic similarities among certain cancer types.

"If we look at 1,000 gastric cancers, their genetic signatures may group into, say, 20 clusters. We can then do preclinical testing on just a few tumors from each of these groups, testing different drugs or combinations of drugs to determine which therapies are most effective for treating those tumors with a given genetic signature," Lee said in a statement.