Cancer is a complex disease of genomic alterations, exploiting many different molecular mechanisms. Fighting cancer requires comprehensive knowledge of functionally disrupted genes and cell types (including stromal and immune cells) across all cancer types. To tackle this challenge, we are utilizing a range of technologies to characterize the genomes, exomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, methylomes and cellular landscape across more than 50 tumor types and subtypes.
Broad Cancer Program scientists have played key roles in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the International Cancer Genome Consortium projects. Over 18,000 tumors have been genomically characterized and analyzed at the Broad to date, including those from patients of particular clinical interest. Clinical cancer sequencing continues to expand at the Broad's Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP). Excitingly, scientists in the Cancer Program and Klarman Cell Observatory have collaborated to generate the first glimpses of tumors at the single cell level (including immune infiltrates), providing unprecedented resolution into the genomes of tumors. And, Broad scientists have developed new approaches to make it possible to sample cancer genomes using blood biopsies. New efforts directly engaging cancer patient populations, such as the Metastatic Breast Cancer project (MBCproject), will greatly accelerate the pace of this research.
Our long-term goal is to comprehensively characterize the genetic and immunological components of over 100,000 cancer samples with corresponding clinical data, and make such data broadly available as part of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.