Breast Cancer Somatic Genetics Study (BASIS)

BASIS is an international collaboration, which aims to genetically characterise the most common class of breast cancer (known as ER+, HER2-), responsible for approximately 40 per cent of all cases of the disease.

[Breast Cancer Somatic Genetics Study]

All cancers are caused by somatic mutations - mutations acquired over a lifetime. The BASIS team will use next-generation technologies to comprehensively catalogue all the somatic mutations in the genomes of 500 cases of breast cancer. This will shed new light on the biology of the disease, thereby opening the door for the development of new diagnostics and targeted treatments.


BASIS is led by Professor Mike Stratton and Dr Andy Futreal, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's Cancer Genome Project. It will draw on its collaborating centres' expertise in pathology, cancer genomics and sequencing, epigenomics, transcriptomics, bioinformatics and clinical translational research and the strength of its sample collections. The project forms part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), a collaboration designed to obtain comprehensive descriptions of genetic changes in 50 different tumour types and/or subtypes which are of clinical and societal importance across the globe.

Harnessing the latest sequencing technologies, BASIS will generate whole-genome sequences, which will be analysed to identify every instance of every class of mutation present in each of the 500 cancer samples collected. The mutations identified will encompass single letter changes; insertions or deletions of chunks of DNA; duplicated copies of stretches of the DNA; and rearrangements of the genome. By sequencing the DNA from both tumour and normal tissue samples taken from the same patient, the researchers will be able to root out those changes that are unique to the cancer.

Using these data, the team will have the statistical power to identify mutations that occur at a frequency greater than 3 per cent in the ER+, HER2- class of breast cancers. The types of mutations identified will provide insights into the mutagenic processes that produced them and offer clues to the aetiology of the disease. Complementary catalogues of epigenetic changes and mRNA and miRNA expression profiles will be generated for the same 500 cancer samples. The team will compare these data with equivalent data from other classes of breast cancer as well as other types of cancer.

At the same time, the BASIS project team will begin to translate its genomic findings by identifying somatic mutations specific to ER+, HER2- in the free DNA found circulating in patients' bloodstreams. Using this method, the team hopes to be able to detect minimal residual disease in patients and use this information to refine prognoses and treatment regimes for women with breast cancer.

Data from the BASIS project will be made rapidly available, with minimal restrictions, to all scientific researchers as they are generated. Data will be available through a dedicated BASIS website, through the ICGC database system, as well as via the Sanger Institute's Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) database.

Selected Publication

  • International network of cancer genome projects.

    International Cancer Genome Consortium, Hudson TJ, Anderson W, Artez A, Barker AD, Bell C, Bernabé RR, Bhan MK, Calvo F, Eerola I, Gerhard DS, Guttmacher A, Guyer M, Hemsley FM, Jennings JL, Kerr D, Klatt P, Kolar P, Kusada J, Lane DP, Laplace F, Youyong L, Nettekoven G, Ozenberger B, Peterson J, Rao TS, Remacle J, Schafer AJ, Shibata T, Stratton MR, Vockley JG, Watanabe K, Yang H, Yuen MM, Knoppers BM, Bobrow M, Cambon-Thomsen A, Dressler LG, Dyke SO, Joly Y, Kato K, Kennedy KL, Nicolás P, Parker MJ, Rial-Sebbag E, Romeo-Casabona CM, Shaw KM, Wallace S, Wiesner GL, Zeps N, Lichter P, Biankin AV, Chabannon C, Chin L, Clément B, de Alava E, Degos F, Ferguson ML, Geary P, Hayes DN, Hudson TJ, Johns AL, Kasprzyk A, Nakagawa H, Penny R, Piris MA, Sarin R, Scarpa A, Shibata T, van de Vijver M, Futreal PA, Aburatani H, Bayés M, Botwell DD, Campbell PJ, Estivill X, Gerhard DS, Grimmond SM, Gut I, Hirst M, López-Otín C, Majumder P, Marra M, McPherson JD, Nakagawa H, Ning Z, Puente XS, Ruan Y, Shibata T, Stratton MR, Stunnenberg HG, Swerdlow H, Velculescu VE, Wilson RK, Xue HH, Yang L, Spellman PT, Bader GD, Boutros PC, Campbell PJ, Flicek P, Getz G, Guigó R, Guo G, Haussler D, Heath S, Hubbard TJ, Jiang T, Jones SM, Li Q, López-Bigas N, Luo R, Muthuswamy L, Ouellette BF, Pearson JV, Puente XS, Quesada V, Raphael BJ, Sander C, Shibata T, Speed TP, Stein LD, Stuart JM, Teague JW, Totoki Y, Tsunoda T, Valencia A, Wheeler DA, Wu H, Zhao S, Zhou G, Stein LD, Guigó R, Hubbard TJ, Joly Y, Jones SM, Kasprzyk A, Lathrop M, López-Bigas N, Ouellette BF, Spellman PT, Teague JW, Thomas G, Valencia A, Yoshida T, Kennedy KL, Axton M, Dyke SO, Futreal PA, Gerhard DS, Gunter C, Guyer M, Hudson TJ, McPherson JD, Miller LJ, Ozenberger B, Shaw KM, Kasprzyk A, Stein LD, Zhang J, Haider SA, Wang J, Yung CK, Cros A, Cross A, Liang Y, Gnaneshan S, Guberman J, Hsu J, Bobrow M, Chalmers DR, Hasel KW, Joly Y, Kaan TS, Kennedy KL, Knoppers BM, Lowrance WW, Masui T, Nicolás P, Rial-Sebbag E, Rodriguez LL, Vergely C, Yoshida T, Grimmond SM, Biankin AV, Bowtell DD, Cloonan N, deFazio A, Eshleman JR, Etemadmoghadam D, Gardiner BB, Gardiner BA, Kench JG, Scarpa A, Sutherland RL, Tempero MA, Waddell NJ, Wilson PJ, McPherson JD, Gallinger S, Tsao MS, Shaw PA, Petersen GM, Mukhopadhyay D, Chin L, DePinho RA, Thayer S, Muthuswamy L, Shazand K, Beck T, Sam M, Timms L, Ballin V, Lu Y, Ji J, Zhang X, Chen F, Hu X, Zhou G, Yang Q, Tian G, Zhang L, Xing X, Li X, Zhu Z, Yu Y, Yu J, Yang H, Lathrop M, Tost J, Brennan P, Holcatova I, Zaridze D, Brazma A, Egevard L, Prokhortchouk E, Banks RE, Uhlén M, Cambon-Thomsen A, Viksna J, Ponten F, Skryabin K, Stratton MR, Futreal PA, Birney E, Borg A, Børresen-Dale AL, Caldas C, Foekens JA, Martin S, Reis-Filho JS, Richardson AL, Sotiriou C, Stunnenberg HG, Thoms G, van de Vijver M, van't Veer L, Calvo F, Birnbaum D, Blanche H, Boucher P, Boyault S, Chabannon C, Gut I, Masson-Jacquemier JD, Lathrop M, Pauporté I, Pivot X, Vincent-Salomon A, Tabone E, Theillet C, Thomas G, Tost J, Treilleux I, Calvo F, Bioulac-Sage P, Clément B, Decaens T, Degos F, Franco D, Gut I, Gut M, Heath S, Lathrop M, Samuel D, Thomas G, Zucman-Rossi J, Lichter P, Eils R, Brors B, Korbel JO, Korshunov A, Landgraf P, Lehrach H, Pfister S, Radlwimmer B, Reifenberger G, Taylor MD, von Kalle C, Majumder PP, Sarin R, Rao TS, Bhan MK, Scarpa A, Pederzoli P, Lawlor RA, Delledonne M, Bardelli A, Biankin AV, Grimmond SM, Gress T, Klimstra D, Zamboni G, Shibata T, Nakamura Y, Nakagawa H, Kusada J, Tsunoda T, Miyano S, Aburatani H, Kato K, Fujimoto A, Yoshida T, Campo E, López-Otín C, Estivill X, Guigó R, de Sanjosé S, Piris MA, Montserrat E, González-Díaz M, Puente XS, Jares P, Valencia A, Himmelbauer H, Himmelbaue H, Quesada V, Bea S, Stratton MR, Futreal PA, Campbell PJ, Vincent-Salomon A, Richardson AL, Reis-Filho JS, van de Vijver M, Thomas G, Masson-Jacquemier JD, Aparicio S, Borg A, Børresen-Dale AL, Caldas C, Foekens JA, Stunnenberg HG, van't Veer L, Easton DF, Spellman PT, Martin S, Barker AD, Chin L, Collins FS, Compton CC, Ferguson ML, Gerhard DS, Getz G, Gunter C, Guttmacher A, Guyer M, Hayes DN, Lander ES, Ozenberger B, Penny R, Peterson J, Sander C, Shaw KM, Speed TP, Spellman PT, Vockley JG, Wheeler DA, Wilson RK, Hudson TJ, Chin L, Knoppers BM, Lander ES, Lichter P, Stein LD, Stratton MR, Anderson W, Barker AD, Bell C, Bobrow M, Burke W, Collins FS, Compton CC, DePinho RA, Easton DF, Futreal PA, Gerhard DS, Green AR, Guyer M, Hamilton SR, Hubbard TJ, Kallioniemi OP, Kennedy KL, Ley TJ, Liu ET, Lu Y, Majumder P, Marra M, Ozenberger B, Peterson J, Schafer AJ, Spellman PT, Stunnenberg HG, Wainwright BJ, Wilson RK and Yang H

    Nature 2010;464;7291;993-8

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