Enabling Precision Functional Genomics with the Target Accelerator Plasmid Collection

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 11, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed  by Jesse S. Boehm, the Associate Director of the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

The notion of cancer precision medicine seems so simple! Take a patient’s tumor sample, use cutting edge genomic technologies to map the mutations that are present, and use prior knowledge (data connecting each genotype with vulnerabilities) to design a therapeutic strategy that works.

But, those darn cancers have revealed many tricks up their sleeves and most patients still don’t benefit from this approach. One central bottleneck is that most recurrently mutated cancer genes are rare and most of the individual variants found in tumors are exceedingly rare. As a result, how most of these “variants of unknown significance” (sometimes called “VUS”) function is unknown. How can we make a decision for each patient if the majority of information on each cancer clinical sequencing report includes rare variants that haven’t been characterized?

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Topics: Cancer

Cancer and the Immune System: Deciphering the Relationship

Posted by Guest Blogger on Mar 14, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Subhadra Jayaraman, a doctoral candidate at Binghamton University

Cancer is one of the greatest examples of survival of the fittest. Cancer cells find a way to grow haywire, access and create more vasculature to feed themselves, use the blood stream to commute to and invade multiple organs, and most importantly escape the immune mechanisms of the host. The cause, manifestation, diagnosis, recurrence, and treatment of cancer have been extensively explored. Biologists have attempted to study cancer from every possible angle to leave no stone unturned, but cancer has been producing landslide after landslide, only adding more stones to the field.

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Topics: Cancer

Mesothelioma - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Posted by Guest Blogger on Dec 13, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

We have learned much about the causes of cancer and the different avenues that can be used to treat it. For those who are running out of hope with more traditional treatments, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, immunotherapy is coming to the fore as a cutting edge form of cancer treatment. With the goal of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative being to cure cancer, more funding and research opportunities are being provided to immunotherapy than ever before. Although different types of cancer have different challenges and obstacles to overcome, mesothelioma sufferers can see great promise in up and coming treatments like immunotherapy.

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Topics: Cancer

Plasmid Grant to Aid Cervical Cancer Screening in Ghana

Posted by Tyler Ford on Nov 8, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Gladys Kaba from the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana will be receiving the third Addgene/Seeding Labs plasmid grant and plans to use the grant to order plasmids she can use as positive controls in PCR-based cervical cancer screens.

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Topics: Investigator Feature, Cancer

Addgene's Cancer Collection Pages Connect the Research Community

Posted by Michael G. Lemieux on Sep 6, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Cancer – a term familiar to almost every person regardless of profession, race, or gender. Almost no other disease receives as many billions of dollars in funding or as much attention collectively from researchers. Scientists, however, have yet to slay the beast. On a global scale, tens of millions of new cancer cases arise and millions of people die from cancer-related complications each year. Despite these grim statistics, new strategies for attacking cancer are yielding promising results in the laboratory, and Addgene is accelerating this research by helping to make new cancer resources easily accessible to the research community.

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Topics: Cancer

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