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The Cancer Genome Atlas publishes results for bile duct, uterine and breast cancer

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a program co-funded by the National Cancer Institute and NHGRI, has greatly improved our understanding of the molecular signatures underlying different cancers - outlining the molecular similarities between different cancer patients and cancer types, as well as documenting what makes them unique from each other.

The Molecular Characteristics of Breast Cancer

The TCGA data, more than two petabytes in total from 33 cancer types, catalogs all the key genomic changes - the modifications in DNA, RNA and proteins that cause the uncontrolled cell growth that is the hallmark of malignant tumors.

Last month, two publications from the TCGA network described two diverse types of cancer: uterine cancer and bile duct cancer. The papers demonstrate how using TCGA's dataset can provide a more complete picture of how to prevent, diagnose and treat specific cancer types. The papers also detail the work being done to characterize cancers at a deeper molecular level, as well as demonstrating the power that TCGA holds for cross-cancer comparisons.

Today, the TCGA network published a paper analyzing the molecular characteristics of breast cancer by African and European Ancestry. This paper identifies molecular differences by genetic ancestry, most of which can be captured by known breast cancer subtypes.

 Growing cancer cells (in purple) are surrounded by healthy cells (in pink), illustrating a primary tumor spreading to other parts of the body through the circulatory system. Image credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI.]

Publications and Press

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Last updated: May 4, 2017