In the news: Targeting cancer's Achilles heel

Ellen Clegg, June 3rd, 2011

Boston Globe reporter Carolyn Johnson writes on today's front page about the push to target cancer with new therapies — among many specialists, the piece quotes Todd Golub, director of the Broad's Cancer Program. Todd and other colleagues discussed the Broad's approach to cancer research in the new Annual Report:

• Develop a comprehensive catalogue of all mutations in a tumor, in order to understand how genes collaborate to drive the disease;

• "Turn on" and "turn off" all the genes in many cancer cell lines, to understand the genetic vulnerability of cancer; and

• Apply genome-inspired thinking to cancer drug discovery.

This approach will allow scientists to understand the genes that are true "drivers" of cancer — knowledge that will be useful therapeutically. Broad associate members Lynda Chin, Levi Garraway, and Matthew Meyerson (all of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) are leading this effort, which is part of TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) and the International Cancer Genome Consortium. Data generated by the Broad will be available to scientists throughout the global cancer research community. More detail about the Broad's cancer research can be found in the Annual Report online.