American Society of Clinical Oncology highlights Sanger Institute research

Study into the origins of cancer included in prestigious annual report

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DOI: 10.1038/nature1247
The presence of mutational signatures across human cancer types.
Research into the origins of cancer led by Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Director Professor Mike Stratton has been selected for inclusion in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer.

The independent annual review, Clinical Cancer Advances 2015, highlights major achievements and emerging trends in clinical cancer research and care. The selected research, titled ‘Signatures of Mutational Processes in Human Cancer’, published in the journal Nature in 2013, described the patterns of mutation imprinted on human cancer genomes by mutational processes that have been operative during the development of cancer.

The team studied 7042 cancer genomes from people with 30 common forms of cancer and found evidence for more than 20 distinct processes that mutated DNA. Some were already known, such as exposure to UV light and smoking, some were newly proposed through the work, but more than half are of unknown cause.

“The Sanger Institute Cancer Genome Project and our many collaborators are honoured that this work has been recognised by the oncology research community. Deeper understanding of the underlying causes of cancer will inform us on whether and how we can prevent its development.”

Professor Mike Stratton Director of the Sanger Institute

To learn more about this research, please see our film below and our news story.

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Selected websites

  • Clinical Cancer Advances 2015

    The American Society of Clinical Oncology developed the Clinical Cancer Advances report, now in its 10th year, to document the important progress being made in clinical cancer research and to highlight emerging trends in the field. This report serves to outline to the public progress achieved against cancer by reviewing the major advances in clinical cancer research and care each year. As a whole, this document attests to the current state of the science and envisions future directions of cancer research.

  • The American Society of Clinical Oncology

    The American Society of Clinical Oncology is a professional oncology society committed to conquering cancer through research, education, prevention and delivery of high-quality patient care. ASCO promotes and provides for lifelong learning for oncology professionals; cancer research; an improved environment for oncology practice; access to quality cancer care; a global network of oncology expertise; and educated and informed patients with cancer. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer.

  • The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

    The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world’s leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease.

  • The Wellcome Trust

    The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests.