Friday, January 9, 2009

Cancer genome research

The MGH Cancer Center and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute of the United Kingdom have begun a new alliance in cancer genome research. The $13 million, five-year project will provide novel insights into genetic features of individual tumors that may determine their response to drug treatment.

Daniel Haber, left, and Jeffrey Settleman

Jeffrey Settleman, PhD, scientific director of the MGH Cancer Center, and his laboratory staff have amassed the largest collection of cancer tumor cell lines in the world -- more than 1,200. "This collaborative study will make use of our cell line repository to identify genomic features that underlie drug sensitivity," says Settleman. "Such information will be of tremendous value in informing the design of clinical trials for targeted, anti-cancer drugs that currently are being developed and for informing treatment decisions with existing cancer drugs." The project is co-led by Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, MGH Cancer Center director, and Michael Stratton, FRS, and Andy Futreal, MD, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

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