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May 18, 2010

GATC to Sequence Pediatric Brain Tumors for PedBrainTumor Consortium

  • GATC Biotech has been awarded €750,000 (approximately $931,281) to sequence brain tumor samples from children as part of the German PedBrainTumor Consortium within the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). The project, to be carried out in collaboration with the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), is expected to present data by autumn of this year.

    GATC will use its next-generation Illumina platforms to sequence genomes from tumor tissues as well as healthy samples from the same patients. The complete genomes will be sequenced with a 30-fold coverage to help ensure reliable data assessment, GATC points out. The consortium hopes the resulting data will help provide new insights into the development of childhood brain cancers and pave the way for the development of new treatments.

    “Brain tumors are the main cause of cancer deaths in childhood,” comments Peter Lichter, Ph.D., project leader and spokesman for the German ICGC group. “Therapies with few side effects are urgently required to make it easier for the children to bear the taxing treatment. The PedBrainTumor Project will bring us a great deal further forward in the development of such therapies.”

    The PedBrainTumor consortium is focused on investigating the genetic causes of pediatric brain tumors. As a German contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium, the project will receive €15 million (approximately $18.63 million) from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V.) over five years. PedBrainTumor is managed by the DKFZ.

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