First volume of cancer encyclopedia is published
The first volume of an encyclopedia of cancer, which outlines how different strains of the disease react to various anti-cancer medications, has been published in the journal Nature.
US researchers worked in conjunction with pharmaceutical company Novartis to produce the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE), which is also appearing in an online format.
It is hoped the CCLE will speed up the progress of developing personalised cancer treatments for patients.
There is also the potential for the encyclopedia to aid the development of new cancer treatments.
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The research team, which consisted of scientists from Novartis and the Broad Institute, catalogued the genetic profiles of 1,000 human cancer lines.
Meanwhile another group of researchers in the US and the UK – based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK and the Massachusetts General Hospital in the US – identified the drug sensitivity of 600 cancer cell lines.
The findings of both studies are appearing in the current issue of Nature.
“This is the largest study of its kind linking drug response with genetic markers,” Dr Mathew Garnett from the Sanger Institute told BBC News.
“You need these very large studies to identify small subsets of cells that are sensitive to drugs.”
Also commenting on the publication of the encyclopedia, Dr Levi Garraway from The Broad Institute, said to BBC News: “Developing this large cell-line resource with all the associated genetic details is another piece in the pie to get us to our goal of personalised cancer medicine.
“We're trying to get smarter about understanding what the right drug is using the genetic information in each tumour.
“This is a stepping stone along the way."
The CCLE was also described as an “invaluable resource” by Professor Charles Swanton from Cancer Research UK.
He said that it would provide “extremely useful intelligence to cancer researchers and those working in cancer drug development.
“They're the product of a huge amount of work, and will be extremely useful in helping researchers firm up their ideas before testing drugs in the clinic,” he said.
“For example, part of my team's work involves trying to find ways to target cancers that contain certain genetic abnormalities.”
Explaining how the encyclopedia would benefit him, Swanton added: “Data from these papers could help us identify new routes to achieve this, by looking for cell lines with these abnormalities and their drug sensitivities.
“This new resource will help speed up cancer research and may well begin to guide further developments in stratified cancer medicine.”
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Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”