Next Proposed “Big Science” Project Focuses on Pre-Cancer

PMWC will focus on understanding the tipping point of cancer at its upcoming conference

Cancer prevention is the holy grail of cancer elimination. It’s apparent now, that making this concept a reality will require a deep understanding of the molecular events that lead to malignancy.Sequencing cancer genomes is definitely an important piece in understanding cancer biology. But now a flurry of discussions are taking place that focus on sequencing the pre-cancerous stage to better understand what is happening at the molecular level before a specific tumor established itself as malignant.

Early detection could become prevention!

It is not surprising that at the recent AACR (American Association for Cancer Research) annual meeting attention was brought to the growing call to sequence the genomes of pre-cancerous lesions and other types of dysplasia.

The end goals are:

  • to develop improved diagnostics for early detection
  • distinguish lesions that warrant treatment from those that don’t
  • develop new treatments to block cancers on the path to malignancy

The call to action, being echoed across the cancer community proposes:

  • Create a “big science/data” project that focuses on pre-cancer, the Pre-Cancer Genome Atlas (PCGA)
  • Adopt the learnings from active large studies that include complex project coordination and simplify the process by which scientists from across organizations and sequencing centers can effectively work together
  • Learn from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), one of the first and largest cancer genome efforts which today…
    • is the largest effort of the International Cancer Genome Consortium
    • involves the collaboration of scientists from 16 nations
    • has uncovered nearly 10 million cancer-related mutations
    • is characterizing the genomes of 33 cancers from more than 11,000 people
  • The proposed pre-cancer genome atlas would determine what changes both lead to and ultimately push the tissue across a tipping point to become cancerous, by…
    • taking multiple snapshots of the same tumor over time, as it develops
    • integrating multi-omics and immunity

Accelerating advances in prevention of cancer will require a large-scale, longitudinal effort, leveraging diverse disciplines (genetics, biochemistry, immunology mathematics, computational biology, and engineering), initiatives, technologies, and models in developing an integrated multi-omics. The outcome is expected to translate insights into an immense national resource to interrogate, target, and ultimately successfully intercept events that drive oncogenesis.

Understanding cancer and its drivers, promoting development and partnerships, articulating the needs of patients and physicians, integrating different types of data, technologies and more, are the goals of our conference.

The upcoming PMWC 2017 Duke conference, taking place in a couple of weeks from today (May 24 &25), has all the key stakeholders in attendance to focus on some of the relevant aspects that will help tackle an understanding of the tipping point of cancer.

It’s not too late to join us!

Find the full program and sessions and speakers on our website

Your PMWC team