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Mapping Cancer

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http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_chann ... ryid=11635

Reported July 22, 2005

Mapping Cancer

PHOENIX (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Cancer. The mere mention of it scares most of us. More than 1 million Americans are diagnosed every year. Thousands will die from the disease. Find out what researchers are doing to label more patients "survivors."

Today, Stewart Campbell knows something big is about to happen. As he watches the nation's largest fountain explode, he knows doctors are working on an even bigger project ... one that could find a cure for his cancer. "It's a malignant, stage IV melanoma, and it started from a spot on my left temple," Campbell says.

A cancer treatment that helps one patient may not work for the next. But, cancer specialist Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D., hopes the Expression Project for Oncology will offer some answers. The project seeks to catalogue each of the different genetic codes for specific cancers, giving oncologists a better handle on how different types of cancer should be treated.

Researchers gather hundreds of tissue samples from cancer patients and break down genes to find out which ones are causing problems. Each of those dots tells a story about a patient, like how aggressive their cancer is and what treatments are working.

"They will make discoveries as to better test to predict how the cancers will behave. They will be able to make discoveries for better drugs to be able to go in and target specific cancers," says Dr. Penny, who is from the International Genomics Consortium in Phoenix.

Researchers put that information online in a free database detailing the gene expression profiles of major cancers. The hope is to bring new cancer drugs to patients. Dr. Penny says, "We are going to get some cures under our belt, and we are going to be able to extend out survival."

With great minds around the world working to uncover cancer's clues, Campbell says he'll stick around for the answers.

The expO project targets breast, prostate, lung, colon and ovarian cancer, but it is not restricted to those cancers. It is the brainchild of the International Genomics Consortium -- a nonprofit group that's working to bring the world together to fight cancer.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Galen Perry

Director of Communications

International Genomics Consortium

445 North Fifth Street

Phoenix, AZ 85004

(602) 343-8423



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