Clinical OMICS

NOV-DEC 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 47

8 Clinical OMICs November/December 2017 News be led by co-PIs Catherine Wu, M.D., and F. Stephen Hodi, M.D., while the CIDC's co-leaders are Xiaole Shirley Liu, Ph.D., Ethan Cerami, Ph.D., and James Lindsay, Ph.D. CIDC priorities, according to the NIH, include working with CIMACs to adopt or develop data-collection standards and database modules for key assay platforms for tumor and immune profiling; establishing a data- base for collection and management of biomarker and associated clinical data generated from CIMACs; providing and maintaining bioinformatics tools for data access and multidimensional analysis within and across trials in the CIMACs; and facilitate regulated data sharing and access by outside investi- gators and the research community, as appropriate and consistent with pro- gram goals. "We expect to coordinate data for- mats and outputs, and harmonize them as much as possible between CIMACs, to facilitate this task. This data repository can hopefully be use- ful to mine information using compu- tational tools and be eventually open to the public as a knowledge data- base," Gnjatic said. Industry Chips In $55M The Partnership for Accelerating Can- cer Therapies (PACT) will be managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), with the FDA serving in an advisory role. Through FNIH, the 11 biopharma partner organizations will each con- tribute up to $1 million per year for five years—a total $55 million from AbbVie, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bris- tol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Genentech (a member of the Roche Group), Gil- ead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Jans- sen Pharmaceutical Cos. of Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and Pfizer. Additional industry support will come from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Associa- tion (PhRMA), which in June counted more than 240 immunotherapies and vaccines in development to treat cancer. NIH will contribute the remaining $160 million over the five years of the partnership, pending availability of funds. PACT is part of the Cancer Moonshot initiative launched last year by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The Moonshot is being funded with $1.8 billion through the 21st Century Cures Act. Participating companies will also contribute expertise, as their scientists will participate in the joint governance of PACT. "We believe some will bring for- ward trials to test biomarkers as part of PACT, but that is optional," an NIH spokesperson told Clinical OMICs. (continued from previous page) The OncoArray consortium, which includes more than 550 researchers at 300 research facilities around the world, has identified 72 new gene variants that predispose to breast cancer, via a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the data of more than 275,000 women. Many of the variants lie in regulatory, rather than coding regions, and an addi- tional seven variants are specific for estrogen receptor-neg- ative (ER-negative) breast cancer. The consortium hopes the GWAS findings, published in October in Nature, will pro- vide new insights into the genetic basis of breast cancer. "As well as identifying new genetic variants, we have also confirmed many that we had previously suspected," commented Doug Easton, Ph.D., from the University of Cambridge, U.K., one of the lead investigators. "There are some clear patterns in the genetic variants that should help us understand why some women are predisposed to breast cancer, and which genes and mechanisms are involved." The team carried out a GWAS of breast cancer in 122,977 cases and 105,974 controls of European ancestry, and 14,068 cases and 13,104 controls of East Asian ancestry. Their anal- yses highlighted 65 new loci associated with an increased overall risk for breast cancer. Most of what they describe as the "credible risk single-nucleotide polymorphisms" (SNPs) were in distal regulatory elements, and not in cod- ing regions. Combining epidemiological and other data, the research- ers predicted that in many cases the altered genes they identified were the same as those that have been found to drive the growth of breast tumors. "…by integrating in sil- ico data to predict target genes in breast cells at each locus, we demonstrate a strong overlap between candidate tar- get genes and somatic driver genes in breast tumors," they wrote. "We estimate that the newly identified susceptibility loci explain around 4% of the twofold familial relative risk of breast cancer and that in total, common susceptibility variants identified through GWAS explain 18% of the famil- ial relative risk." Consortium Discovers 72 New Genetic Risk Variants for Breast Cancer

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Clinical OMICS - NOV-DEC 2017