Affymetrix Inc. has extended its Collaborations in Cancer Research Program (CCRP) to North America, forming an alliance between Affymetrix and 25 leading cancer researchers. The expansion builds on the success of the European CCRP, launched in April 2007. All of the researchers in the program are using Affymetrix’ integrated genomics solution to accelerate research on more than 10 types of cancer.
The Affymetrix integrated genomics solution combines copy number data from the SNP Array 6.0 and expression information from the Human Exon 1.0 ST Array to deliver the most comprehensive view of the cancer genome. This integrated genomics approach accelerates the discovery and validation of candidate genes associated with the disease. A better understanding of the molecular basis of cancer will enable researchers to develop more effective, personalized treatments for a disease that currently costs Americans more than $72 billion a year1.
CCRP participants were selected on the basis of past contributions to their respective fields and potential to make significant advancements in cancer research. The Affymetrix integrated solution provides researchers with a deeper understanding of the cancer genome by incorporating genome-wide expression, exon and alternative splice information, as well as genotype, copy number and loss of heterozygosity data from just two arrays.
“We are using the SNP 6.0 arrays to obtain the most comprehensive profile of genomic abnormalities aimed at discovering novel molecular targets,” said Tak Mak Wah, Ph.D., professor at the Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto. “The ability to integrate the exon and SNP array data will help us identify candidate driver genes underlying these genomic abnormalities and speed up their validation.”
“The genomics of cancer disparities among racial minorities is a rapidly evolving field,” said Norman H. Lee, Ph.D., professor at the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, George Washington University Medical Center. “We are excited to be partnering with Affymetrix to identify and investigate new molecular targets as a prelude to reduce cancer health disparities.”
“Recent peer-reviewed publications demonstrate the importance of integrated genomics and the impact it can have on cancer research,” said Kevin King, president of Affymetrix. “Affymetrix is fully committed to providing tools to meet the evolving needs of the leading cancer researchers around the world.”
Initial data from the studies will be released in the next three to six months. Speakers from the program can be heard at the integrated genomics conference series hosted by Affymetrix, beginning in mid-May. Speakers include Eileen Dolan of the University of Chicago, William Lin of Yale University and the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard and Sami Malek of the University of Michigan. Major events in the series will be held in New York City, Bethesda, Maryland, and Houston.
As part of the program, Affymetrix is partially funding selected research projects that demonstrate clinical utility, in addition to helping participants obtain tools and training, and providing forums where investigators can exchange knowledge and share best practices. Later this year, Affymetrix is also expanding the Collaborations in Cancer Research Program across Asia-Pacific.