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Lung Cancer Alliance Hails NCI's Lung Cancer Selection for Cancer Genome Atlas Pilot Project

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Lung Cancer Alliance has hailed the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) announcement of their decision to include lung adenocarcinoma as one of three cancer tissue types in its pilot project to catalogue genetic changes in human cancers.

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pilot project is a joint project of the NCI and the NHGRI.

"This is exciting news for the lung cancer community," said Laurie Fenton, President, Lung Cancer Alliance.

"For too long, lung cancer has been ignored, under-funded and under-researched given its massive public health impact."

"I am delighted that the overseers of this project acknowledged this shortcoming. Let us hope this novel research can map discoveries and, ultimately, cures for this most lethal of all cancers."

The Atlas pilot project goal is to sequence the genome of the Lung adenocarcinoma.

This research will tell how mistakes in a cell's genetic instructions lead to lung cancer, how to prevent it from spreading and how to prevent recurrence.

While scientists have already discovered some "genetic signatures" of lung cancer, such as the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) mutations, there are many more in lung cancer to uncover.

The pilot project is expected to take three years. This process will use and further develop existing genetic research resources including carefully preserved cancer tissue donated by patients.

Lung Cancer Alliance served on the Expert Technical Panel on Biospecimen Evaluation which advised TCGA's Management Team.

This panel aided in assessing different sources of cancer tumor samples that the Atlas considered using in the pilot project.