Early Onset Malignancies Initiative

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A couple consults with a doctor.

A couple consults with a doctor.

Credit: National Cancer Institute

The Early Onset Malignancies Initiative (EOMI) is a collaborative initiative between CCG and the Division of Cancer Prevention’s NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) aimed to investigate why certain racial and ethnic populations are at increased risk of developing cancer at an early age, through the collection and characterization of malignancies. The EOMI will focus on six cancer types that in certain minority populations develop at an earlier age, occur in higher rates, and are typically more aggressive. By obtaining genomic data and information on treatment and response from underrepresented minorities and comparing them to the control group, the EOMI may yield important insights into the biology of early disease, tumor progression, and treatment response.

The EOMI kicked off in 2016, when NCORP began working with eleven of its twelve minority/underserved sites to collect tumor and normal tissue samples from newly diagnosed patient populations. NCORP’s community sites are also collecting extensive data regarding patients’ demographics, histories, treatments, and outcomes, at clinical updates at six months and one year. Following procurement by NCORP, CCG will process the tissue samples through its NCI Genome Characterization Pipeline, producing rich genomic data using multiple platforms: whole genome sequencing, whole exome sequencing, and total RNA sequencing.

Thorough clinical data about patients, together with cutting-edge genomic characterization, will enable the EOMI to draw connections between genetics and clinical measures such as cancer risk and tumor behavior. This gives the EOMI the potential to uncover molecular targets and biomarkers for prevention, early detection, treatment, and disease monitoring.

The EOMI data will also be compatible with other data produced by NCI’s Genome Characterization Pipeline, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and will provide the first NCI genomic characterization of multiple myeloma. With EOMI’s inclusion of patient populations that are underrepresented in genomic datasets like TCGA, these data will add significant value to the data that are currently available by enabling critical research into molecular drivers of cancers affecting minority populations.

EOMI Cancer Types and Patient Populations

EOMI is characterizing samples from each of six cancer types:

  • Breast Cancer (400 samples)
  • Prostate Cancer (400 samples)
  • Colorectal Cancer (400 samples)
  • Liver Cancer (400 samples)
  • Kidney Cancer (200 samples; from American Indians and White populations only)
  • Multiple Myeloma (400 samples)

EOMI’s goal is to analyze samples from 100 patients from each of four racial and ethnic groups for each cancer type:

  • African-American
  • Hispanic
  • American Indians
  • White
  • Posted: August 4, 2017

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