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Distinguished Lecture Series

“Comprehensive Somatic Interrogation in Diverse Cancer Cohorts" presented by Dr. John D. Carpten

The availability of the draft human genome sequence and significant technological advances now provide us with the opportunity to explore the genomic landscape of cancer in an unprecedented way. The ability to rapidly sequence the tumor and germline DNA and RNA of an individual using Next Generation Sequencing technologies and bioinformatics holds the eventual promise of revolutionizing approaches to match targeted therapies to tumors harboring biologically associated genetic biomarkers. Several large international efforts are underway applying high throughput, high-resolution genomic technologies towards the interrogation of cancer genomes for discovery of molecular alterations in tumors. Numerous studies reported by the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the International Cancer Genomics Consortium (ICGC), have provided cancer genome data on over 10 cancers, cogently increasing our knowledge of the common and rare somatic events occurring in tumors.

Significant evidence supports the fact that a number of cancer types demonstrate significant differences in incidence and clinical outcomes among underrepresented populations in the US, particularly African Americans. And although it is clear that socio-economic factors play a role in these clinical differences, the role of biology has not been adequately ruled out. Specifically, the study of tumors derived from patients from underrepresented populations pales in comparison to data generated from their European descent peers. This is particularly evident in the severe lack of data generated from African American patients in the TCGA database. Therefore, it is tantamount to generate data from tumors from diverse populations to better understand the similarities and differences in biological frameworks for cancers. Here we will provide examples of cancer genome studies assessing genomic landscapes of tumors across African American and European descent patients. It is our hope, that through understanding the similarities and differences across these populations, we can better identify more effective methods of disease management to balance clinical outcomes among cancer patients from diverse communities within the US.

vcr distinguished lecture infographic

Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017
Time: 12 to 1 pm
Location: Freeman Auditorium, 930 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor
Light Refreshments to be Served

Last Published: Sep 22, 2017