GMAC Japan, Genomic Medicine for Asia-Prevalent Cancers
National Cancer Center
This project aims to uncover genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic features in cancers that are prevalent in Asian areas including Japan, and to identify key molecular features and targets for diagnosis, therapy, and prevention. We will recruit and analyze cancers in multiple organs including gastrointestinal (esophagus, stomach and colon), hepatobiliary (liver, pancreas and biliary tract), urinary (kidney) and haematological systems. Both prospective (samples in clinical trial or advanced cases) and prospective (bio banked samples with clinical annotations) cases will be analyzed. In addition to discovering potential therapeutic targets including immune regulatory molecules especially in advanced tumours, identification of diagnostic molecular markers including those characteristics in Asian cases would be identified by collecting molecular information of cases treated by chemotherapy and immunotherapy (including cases in clinical trials). A comprehensive analysis of mutational signatures with epidemiological and environmental data would also be performed to identify unknown cancer-causing factors especially in Asia.
Program Goals and Expected Outcomes
This project aims to uncover therapeutic targets, potential biomarkers of the intractable cancers that are frequent in Asia including Japan. This research also collaborates with the Mutographs international project to extract molecular signatures including mutational signatures in these cancer types and to identify important cancer causes for future cancer prevention in these areas. Hopefully, these results would help to provide better and precise cancer treatments for patients as well as to decrease cancer incidence in future.
What gaps in existing knowledge will be addressed by the study?
Since small numbers of whole genome sequencing data are still available for cancer types targeted in our project, exploration and evaluation of therapeutic targets and biomarkers are not saturated. Although infectious factors such as virus, bacteria and parasites are important cancer risk factors, drastic changes of life-styles including food would impact on alteration of the cancer composition in Asia. However, little is known about how these factors are associated with carcinogenesis and molecular mechanisms underlined.
University of Tokyo, Japan