Tuesday, July 10, 2018

CRG: "New genes involved in cancer discovered thanks to Open Data"

News from CRG

Three CRG researchers, lead by the ICREA Research Professor Ben Lehner, have identified ten new candidate cancer predisposition genes using only publically available data. This work, published in Nature Communications, analysed the genome sequences of more than 10,000 cancer patients with 30 different tumour types using a new statistical method called ALFRED, based on an old idea that oncogenes often require ‘two hits’ before they cause cancer. “Our results show that the newly identified cancer predisposition genes may have an important role in many types of cancer. For example, they were associated with 14% of ovarian tumours and 7% of breast tumours” explains Fran Supek, former CRG researcher, now at the IRB.

Lehner adds, “This is a success story for how being open is far more efficient. Many patient groups lobby for better sharing of genomic data because it is only by comparing data across hospitals, countries and diseases that we can obtain a deep understanding of many rare and common diseases.  Unfortunately, many researchers still do not share their data and this is something we need to actively change as a society”. - Carlos Sierra / PRBB

Reference article:
Solip Park, Fran Supek, and Ben Lehner. ‘Systematic discovery of germline cancer predisposition genes through the identification of somatic second hits’ Nature Communications (2018) 9:2601 | DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04900-7

More information:
CRG website

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