Background The Center for Cancer Genomics (CCG) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was established in 2011 with a mission to lead the NCI efforts in generating critical datasets required to catalog the alterations seen in human tumors, coordinating data unification and sharing efforts, and supporting development of analytical tools and computational approaches aimed at improving our understanding of the large-scale, multidimensional data. CCG also has the goal of developing and applying cutting-edge genomic science to prevent cancer and better treat cancer patients, for example in the context of NCI-supported clinical trials. Currently, several large-scale cancer genome research projects fall under the CCG umbrella including those managed by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Program Office and the Office of Cancer Genomics (OCG). The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Program In 2006, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) initiated a collaboration to pursue a 3-year pilot project to determine the feasibility of more comprehensively cataloging the genomic alterations associated with a small number of different human cancers. The pilot project focused mainly on three tumor types: glioblastoma multiforme, serous cystadenocarcinoma of the ovary, and squamous carcinoma of the lung. The pilot project expanded to approximately 30 additional tumor types over the next 4 years and as of 2013 represents approximately 1 petabyte (PB) of data on over 6,000 cases of human cancer. Data analysis to date demonstrates that cancer-associated genes and genomic regions can be identified by combining diverse information from genome analyses with tumor biology and clinical data, and that the sequencing of selected regions can be conducted efficiently and cost-effectively. The strength of TCGA is to produce unprecedented multi-dimensional data sets using an appropriate number of samples to provide statistically robust results that sets the stage for a new era in the discovery of new cancer interventions. The integrative analyses leading to the formulation of an unanticipated hypothesis on a potential mechanism of resistance highlights precisely the value and power of such project design, demonstrating how unbiased and systematic cancer genome analyses of large sample cohorts can lead to important discoveries. The Office of Cancer Genomics The Office of Cancer Genomics (OCG) is supporting two initiatives to generate comprehensive molecular characterization of cancers. One, in collaboration with the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, established the Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) initiative that seeks to harness the power of modern genomics technologies to rapidly identify valid therapeutic targets in childhood cancers so that new, more effective treatments can be developed. The TARGET project includes at least 5 pediatric cancers. Second, is the Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative (CGCI) which addresses the questions of new technologies in comprehensive molecular characterizations which are mainly based on 2nd generation sequencing (to date large scale data was generated for pediatric medulloblastoma and adult diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) and the characterization of HIV+ tumors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research and Development Contracts (N01)
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Saic-Frederick, Inc.
United States
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