BC scientists first in world to decode genetic evolution of a breast cancer tumour
The landmark study, which will be published
"One in nine women is expected to develop breast cancer, and breast cancer accounts for 29 per cent of all cancer diagnoses for B.C. women," said Health Services Minister
"I never thought I would see this in my lifetime," said Dr.
Partnering with the BC Cancer Agency's Genome Sciences Centre, Dr. Aparicio's team used the latest in next-generation DNA sequencing technology to study the evolution of a single patient's lobular breast cancer tumour over a nine-year interval. They found 32 mutations in the metastatic cancer tumour and then looked to see how many of those same spelling mistakes were present in the original tumour. The result was surprising - only five of the 32 could have been present in all of the cells of the primary tumour, thus fingering them as the criminals that caused the disease to get started in the first place. These five mutations were previously unknown to researchers as playing a role in cancer.
"This study demonstrates the remarkable capacity of next-generation DNA sequencing technology," says Dr.
"Through our research at the BC Cancer Agency, we are dedicated to finding new and novel ways to detect cancer earlier and to develop more enhanced treatments," said
The discovery is not only a major scientific milestone for the BC Cancer Agency, an acknowledged world leader in cancer research care, but also a significant testimony to the power of philanthropy invested in science to fuel cancer research and drive new discoveries.
"The BC Cancer Foundation, as the fundraising arm of the agency, has raised over
The BC Cancer Foundation founded the BC Cancer Agency's Genome Sciences Centre, the Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics at the BC Cancer Agency, and the BC Cancer Agency's Breast Cancer Outcomes Unit, all of which played a key role in the study. The research was conducted in the BC Cancer Agency's research centre in
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Region supported a key member of Dr. Aparicio's research team through a bioinformatics fellowship. Other funders and supporters include the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Genome Canada and Genome BC, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
Dr. Aparicio was recruited in 2005 from
The BC Cancer Agency is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. The BC Cancer Foundation raises funds to support research and enhancements to patient care at the BC Cancer Agency throughout B.C.
High-resolution photos, video and audio playback of today's teleconference are available for download at: http://www.bccancerfoundation.com/cms/page1506.cfm Other information sources: - BC Cancer Agency information on breast cancer: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/PPI/TypesofCancer/Breast/default.htm - BC Cancer Agency Molecular Oncology Department: http://molonc.bccrc.ca/ - BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre (GSC): http://bcgsc.ca/ - BC Cancer Agency next-generation sequencing information: http://molonc.bccrc.ca/?page_id=191 - Nature: www.nature.com - NCI (US) General cancer info: http://www.cancer.gov/ and breast cancer info: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast - NCIC / Canadian Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.ca/research/?sc_lang=en, with breast cancer info at: http://www.cancer.ca/canada-wide/about%20cancer/types%20of%20cancer/what%20is%20breast%20cancer.aspx?sc_lang=en - CBCF BC/Yukon Region: http://www.cbcf.org/en-US/bc%20yukon.aspx
SOURCE BC Cancer Foundation