Cancer Genome Atlas Begins with 3-Year, $100 Million Pilot

The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) today launched the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Pilot Project, a comprehensive effort to accelerate understanding of the molecular basis of cancer.

NCI Deputy Director Dr. Anna Barker said, "TCGA is a revolutionary program which capitalizes on so much of what we've accomplished in the last 30-plus years of biomedical and cancer research. The Human Genome Project produced an amazing product, and we are now positioned to leverage the human genome sequence for TCGA. This is the first attempt to use large-scale gene sequencing for human health - and I am glad that cancer patients and their families will be the beneficiaries. The project will enable a new generation of discovery and empower translational and clinical research across all sectors. Our intent is that all of the data move quickly into the public domain for everyone's use."

The TCGA Pilot Project will develop and test the science and technology needed to systematically identify the genetic changes in cancers. Such an exploration of the genetic origins of cancers would not have been possible a decade ago. But new technologies and genome analysis tools, especially large-scale genome sequencing, have led scientists to a better understanding of how and why genetic changes cause cancer.

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