Van Andel Research Institute scientists help redefine how cancer is categorized

Van Andel Research InstituteThe Cancer Genome Atlas

The findings are the result of a global scientific collaboration and mark the culmination of TCGA, a multi-institutional, joint effort between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to develop a comprehensive scientific resource for better categorizing cancer. The more than decade-long initiative is the most in-depth undertaking of its kind, spanning 10,000 tumors across 33 cancer types.

National Cancer InstituteNational Human Genome Research Institute

“TCGA’s findings have greatly deepened our molecular understanding of the major cancer types,” said Peter W. Laird, Ph.D., a professor at VARI who led the DNA methylation analysis for TCGA Research Network and who is senior author on two of today’s papers. “It is our hope that these publications will serve as a guide for scientists who plan to harness TCGA’s robust data to develop new, more personalized methods of patient care.”

Peter W. Laird, Ph.D.

This research, which represents the project’s capstone, joins dozens of other papers that have been published since TCGA’s inception in 2005. Collectively, they provide a highly detailed description of molecular changes occurring in all major human cancers. The use of this molecular atlas is rapidly expanding, with more than 1,000 publications


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