Mapping of cancers can help determine which are deadlier.
Understanding the genetic changes in tumors that distinguish the most lethal cancers from more benign ones could help doctors better treat patients.
Today, Swedish researchers are launching a new open-access catalog that maps many of those genetic changes. This “atlas” links thousands of specific genes involved in numerous cancers to patient survival and also reveals potential new drug targets.
The new atlas is one of several ongoing efforts to make sense of data that’s been collected by public databases—like the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Genome Atlas—that act as repositories for tumor samples. The goal is to glean practical information, like markers of disease, that can be used to develop cancer drugs and diagnostics.
To generate the atlas, researchers led by Mathias Uhlén, a professor of microbiology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, used a supercomputer to analyze 17 major types of human cancers from nearly 8,000 tumor samples. Uhlén says his team was looking for “holistic changes across the genome caused by these mutations.”
Read full article: A Cancer “Atlas” to Predict How Patients Will Fare – MIT Technology Review