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Open Access

Personalized oncogenomics

  • Steven JM Jones1,
  • Janessa Laskin2,
  • Yvonne Y Li1,
  • Obi L Griffith1,
  • Jianghong An1,
  • Mikhail Bilenky1,
  • Yaron S Butterfield1,
  • Eric Chuah1,
  • Richard Corbett1,
  • Anthony Fejes1,
  • Simon Chan1,
  • Nancy Liao1,
  • Katayoon Kasaian1,
  • Malachi Griffith1,
  • John Yee3,
  • Montgomery Martin4,
  • Michael Mayo1,
  • Nataliya Melnyk5,
  • Ryan D Morin1,
  • Trevor J Pugh1,
  • Tesa Severson1,
  • Sohrab P Shah5,
  • Margaret Sutcliffe6,
  • Angela Tam1,
  • Jefferson Terry7,
  • Nina Thiessen1,
  • Thomas Thomson7,
  • Richard Varhol1,
  • Thomas Zeng1,
  • Yongjun Zhao1,
  • Richard A Moore1,
  • David G Huntsman7,
  • Inanc Birol1,
  • Martin Hirst1,
  • Robert A Holt1 and
  • Marco A Marra1
Genome Biology201011(Suppl 1):I5

Published: 11 October 2010


SorafenibSunitinibPersonalized MedicineGenetic CharacterisationResistant Tumour

The comprehensive genetic characterisation of human tumours promises to contribute a profound understanding of the changes that contribute to and drive the oncogenic process. In one study, we have been able to determine the oncogenic mechanisms driving a rare adenocarcinoma of the tongue and provide clinically useful information to aid in its treatment, through the determination that the cancer was driven primarily by activation of the RET pathway. The administration of RET targeting kinase inhibitors, sunitinib and sorafenib, provided tumour stabilisation for several months, after which time therapeutic resistant tumours arose. This provided us with the opportunity to identify the genetic changes associated with drug resistance allowing the observation that resistance is correlated with an apparent up-regulation of the parallel proliferative AKT pathway.

However, the complete and comprehensive analysis of a genome using this technology is still nascent and many of the software tools required to achieve this are still in development. In the analysis of tumour normal pairs, it is not clear that current levels of sampling are sufficient to identify somatic changes accurately without further validation. Likewise, the level of false negatives that confound our analyses is unclear. Such considerations will be important if this technology is to be adopted in the routine provision of personalized medicine.

Authors’ Affiliations

Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
Medical Oncology, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Diagnostic Imaging, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
Molecular Oncology, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
Experimental Therapeutics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada


© Jones et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.