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VCFG publishes first genome-wide screen

PeterMac_GenomeScreeningThe ACRF-funded Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG) at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has published its first genome-wide screen, in an open-access journal ‘Scientific Data’, allowing researchers around the world to benefit from the findings.

As the lead article in ‘Scientific Data’, which is produced by the prestigious Nature publishing group, the paper details how the VCFG performs genome screens, which help researchers understand the functional role of every gene in the genome in cancer cell growth and cancer cell death.

For this particular study, researchers focused on breaking down responses to a colon cancer therapy, to understand – at a molecular level – why some patients respond to a particular drug, but others do not.

This is the first genome-wide screen to be published by the ACRF-funded facility; 14 genome screens and a vast array of smaller scale custom screens have been completed, each providing new information on the causes of cancer and mechanisms of drug resistance to, ultimately, inform better treatment options for patients.

Most importantly, the publication ‘Scientific Data’ is a new, open-access publication through which this information will be freely available to researchers around the globe.

“The genomic research world has been waiting for a journal like this — it’s one thing to unveil cancer-causing gene candidates to our peers, but by revealing the intricate details of our entire screen we can help others avoid dead-end research, and find new collaborators to make great strides in a mutually beneficial way,” says Associate Professor Kaylene Simpson, Head of the VCFG and senior author on the publication.

Currently, there are only 60 institutes around the world with the ability to conduct genome-wide screens and the ACRF is proud to have awarded the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre with $2.5 million in funding to purchase the research infrastructure that has allowed them to excel in this vital area of research.

The full paper can be viewed here.