An interesting article in this weeks Nature News looks at the completion of the multi-million dollar Cancer Genome Atlas project and considers which direction future work might take. With nearly 10 million cancer-related mutations identified, data from this project has provided ‘new ways to classify tumours and pointed to previously unrecognised drug targets and carcinogens’. The debate is whether to do more of the same or look at the mutations already identified and begin to determine how they influence cancer development and progression.
The National Cancer Institute (USA) has already announced that it is planning to focus sequencing on ovarian, colorectal and lung tumours. Clinical information will be linked to the sequence data which should increase the power of the study and hopefully provide insights into which mutations influence response or resistance to treatment etc.