1000 Chicago Cancer Genome Project

Cancer is, at it heart, a genetic disease, driven by the acquisition of mutations in important genes.  Although these mutations produce cancer, recent results in several tumors suggest that these mutations may also represent medical’s Achilles heel. Over the last several years, several new successful chemotherapeutic drugs have been developed that directly target specific cancer mutations.  Thus, the identification of mutations that drive carcinogenesis will allow the development of new, more effective therapies for cancer. However, these drugs only work in a small percentage of cancers.  Cancer is extremely complex and heterogeneous, and the identification of which mutations are present in a tumor and should be targeted by chemotherapeutic therapy is not obvious.

The recent development of novel “next-generation” sequencing technologies now make it possible to identify every mutation in a cancer cell.  Over the last 18 months, the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology at the University of Chicago has developed significant experience in this emerging technology.  Thus, the IGSB, in conjunction with the University of Chicago Medical Center, is proud to announce the launch of the 1000 Cancer Transcriptomes Project.  Over the next 2 years, the IGSB and UCMC will sequence the transcriptomes of 1000 tumors at the UCMC.  We combine this data with a series of sophisticated analyses and high throughput experiments to identify new targets for therapy, in some of the most common and deadly cancers.