Largest cancer genomics study spurs efforts to promote specialized clinical trials

The final output from the largest-ever cancer genomic study reveals new possibilities for immune-based and other novel cancer therapeutics, and provides a push for clinicians to obtain and utilize comprehensive genomic information to enroll their patients into specialized “basket” or “umbrella” clinical trials. Results from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Network are highlighted in 27 studies published this week in Cell, Cancer Cell, Cell Reports, and Immunity.

The TCGA Network, which over the past decade has involved several hundred researchers from the USA and abroad, painstakingly analyzed the DNA, RNA and protein from 33 tumor types from more than 10,000 patients. Prior to study accrual the tumors were classically identified by their anatomic site of origin, such as breast, kidney, lung, etc. Utilizing 4 to 6 different state-of-the-art technology platforms to assay all the tumor samples, researchers found that, based on their cellular and genetic makeup and independent of their anatomic site of origin, all 33 types could be re-classified into 28 different molecular types or “clusters,” and that nearly two-thirds of these clusters were considered heterogeneous as they contained up to 25 different histological tumor types that traditionally, would all be treated differently. These molecular analyses and clustering


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