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How could a “pre-cancer genome atlas” transform cancer prevention?

Written by Balkees Abderrahman (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX, USA and the University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK)

Having created the landmark cancer genomics program, the NIH Cancer Genome Atlas, investigators are now shifting the focus to creating a “pre-cancer genome atlas” that looks into the “Big Bang” of cancer – the tipping point when abnormal or precancerous growths give birth to full-blown cancers -, in a trial to make certain cancers “predictable” and aid in their prevention. The NIH Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), comprised of 2.5 petabytes of genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data, has been the towering cancer genomics program, aiding in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The TCGA has characterised the genomes of...

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