Cancer gene online database enters public domain


In the fight against cancer, a new online database is now available to the public which researchers hope will go a long way toward deciphering how treatments for the disease can be improved upon. The National Cancer Institute hopes this database, which is based on genome studies, will help researchers develop new medications to better match therapies with patients in need.

Dr. Yves Pommier, chief of the NCI’s Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, said in an interview with GMA News Online that many treatments involve guesswork, as doctors have no way to figure out how patients will respond to commonly used drugs or which forms of cancer have a resistance.

“Most anti-cancer drugs that are used today are used based on their empirical activity,” Pommier said. “For most of them, we know there is a target, but they have not been connected with any genomics.”

In the creation of this database, the team looked at 60 human cancer cell lines and created a list of cancer-specific variations of multiple parts of the body. The information was published in the journal “Cancer Research” and will now be used as part of this database.

IT professional Steve McWhirter told ZDNet that having an online database provides businesses or organizations such as NCI a scalable and on-demand resource that will help avoid costs and complexities normally associated with on-premise tools. Tools are simple to use and cost efficient so organizations should not have a tough time with adoption or implementation.