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IGC, TGen to Lead Biospecimen Core for Cancer Atlas Pilot Project

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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have announced the selection of the International Genomics Consortium (IGC) in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to lead the Human Cancer Biospecimen Core Resource (BCR) component of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pilot project.

"The faculty of IGC and TGen are uniquely qualified to direct this component of the TCGA and their participation and leadership will be crucial to TCGA's success," said Dr. Bert Vogelstein, Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

"The results of the study they envision will undoubtedly change how we look at cancer and are likely to move cancer research in entirely new and productive directions."

"The Cancer Genome Atlas project is a significant undertaking that can create a scientific milestone that can benefit the personalization of medicine," said Dr. George Poste, Director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

Collectively, genomic and clinical data generated by all the components of the pilot project will provide the initial contributions to a comprehensive Web-based resource describing the genomic "fingerprints" of specific cancer types for use by the cancer research community.

While the pilot project focuses on only a limited number of tumor types, its outcomes will allow the NIH to assess the feasibility of conducting a comprehensive analysis of associated genomic alterations in the future for all cancer types.

Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical and Operating Officer and Executive Director of expO will serve as the Principal Investigator for the BCR.

"Our selection to lead the BCR validates our ability to collect and curate cancer biospecimens and importantly, link them with the clinical outcomes and gene expression," said Dr. Penny.

"Our mission is to accelerate personalized medicine for patients through earlier diagnosis, targeted and more rational treatments and effective prevention."

"As evidenced by the Human Genome Project, the value of public databases supported by quality science is a concept of tremendous value to both the public and private sector," said Jeffrey Trent, PhD, TGen President and Scientific Director.

"Our selection is a credit to the systems, people and the innovation occurring within the biosciences throughout Arizona."