IGC to Continue as Founding BCR and Serve as Tissue Source Site Network for The Cancer Genome Atlas Project

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International Genomics Consortium awarded $58,882,281 to continue as the founding Biospecimen Core Resource and serve as a primary Tissue Source Site network for The Cancer Genome Atlas project.

It is a great honor for Arizona’s IGC to continue being part of leadership for such a historic cancer project

The International Genomics Consortium (IGC) today announced that it has successfully competed for and has been awarded two prestigious national contracts from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one to provide cancer tissue samples for analysis in The Cancer Genome Atlas project (TCGA) and the second to continue to serve as a Biospecimen Core Resource (BCR) for TCGA. IGC will run a critical Tissue Source Site Network for TCGA under a contract valued at $21,360,880 and operate a BCR over the next five years in a contract valued at $37,521,401. IGC will expand its network of contributing national research hospitals developed for the expression project for oncology (expO) to accrue cancer samples and matching blood on at least 17 different cancer types. These untreated cancers will have a complete comprehensive genomic analysis performed on them by the sequencing and characterization centers of TCGA.

TCGA is one of the largest initiatives to date to analyze such a wide array of cancers with so many different genomic analyses ranging from sequencing to methylation studies. The genomic blueprints of each cancer will be available on the web for all scientists to have access to for translational discoveries. TCGA plans to analyze 500 tumors from each cancer type studied by the program and will provide the clinically annotated outcome data along with the complete genomic analysis on the web free of any intellectual property restrictions. IGC plans to retain a portion of each sample that it provides to TCGA, if available, to expedite translational discoveries to help patient care, in work separate from TCGA. The award to IGC will additionally complement its current leadership role in TCGA as a Biospecimen Core Resource, a “Grand Central Station” for the project’s samples and extraction of molecular analytes. Additional information on TCGA may be found at http://cancergenome.nih.gov/.

This further solidifies Arizona’s national role in biorepositories and translational diagnostics as well as validating the success of the visionary IGC national project expO that IGC launched in 2003 and was recently sustained as a result of critical Science Foundation Arizona grant funding. expO has successfully collected over 15,000 cancer samples from over 4,000 cancer patients nationwide.

“It is a great honor for Arizona’s IGC to continue being part of leadership for such a historic cancer project,” said Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D., IGC’s CEO and Principle Investigator for both the TSS and BCR components of TCGA. “We have an independent responsibility at IGC to find faster and better ways to translate the IGC submitted residual tissue and blood in our biobank into better diagnoses and therapies for cancer patients.”

IGC successfully partnered with two national physician-focused organizations, US Oncology and AmeriPath (a division of Quest Diagnostics), to establish cancer tissue collections in hospitals throughout the United States for their expO project; both organizations are key to the success of the current TCGA Tissue Source Site Network award. It is anticipated that 18 hospitals across the nation will help provide cancer tissue samples to IGC for TCGA.

“We are excited that IGC is collaborating with US Oncology to assist the NCI in accelerating more personalized medicine for our cancer patients,” said Lloyd Everson, M.D., Vice Chairman of US Oncology.    

"Quest Diagnostics has been a long-time collaborator with IGC and its translational initiatives in diagnostics and biobanking," said Dr. Jeffrey Mossler, Chief of Anatomic Pathology at Quest Diagnostics. "This is a remarkable translational research initiative that should accelerate genomics into clinical trials."

David Mallery, JD, MBA, IGC’s President noted that “Arizona’s leadership in supporting our key early pilot studies was pivotal to enabling IGC to compete and bring these projects to the State.” IGC thanks Maricopa County, the City of Phoenix, Caris Life Sciences, Science Foundation Arizona, the Flinn Foundation as well as many of the pharmaceutical companies that have provided financial and leadership support to IGC and our initiatives in the past.

Media Contact: Joe Paulauskis Ph.D. (602) 850 – 7000

About IGC
The International Genomics Consortium (IGC) is a non-profit medical research foundation established to expand upon the discoveries of the Human Genome Project and other systematic sequencing efforts by combining world-class genomic research, bioinformatics, and diagnostic technologies in the fight against cancer and other complex genetic diseases. IGC serves numerous common, unmet needs including: the standardization of the collection of properly consented tissues of interest, the molecular characterization of these tissues, and standardization in the representation of these results. IGC participates in the transition of genomic discoveries to improve patient care and increase the speed in which new diagnostic, prognostic and predictive testing, and new drug and treatment regimens are developed. For more information, visit http://www.intgen.org.

About US Oncology
US Oncology, Inc. is the nation’s leading integrated oncology company. By uniting the largest community-based cancer treatment and research network in America, US Oncology expands patient access to high-quality care and advances the science of cancer care. Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, US Oncology is affiliated with more than 1,300 community-based oncologists, and works with patients, hospitals, payers, and the medical industry across all phases of the cancer research and delivery continuum. By promoting the use of innovative technology, clinical research, evidence-based medicine and shared best practices, US Oncology improves patient outcomes and offers a better patient experience. For more information, visit http://www.usoncology.com.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at http://www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

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Joe Paulauskis
International Genomics Consortium
602-850-7029
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