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Exploring the Cancer Genomic Landscape of the Japanese Population

Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), ACT Genomics, and ACTmed launched a joint clinical research collaboration aimed to establish comprehensive genomic profiles of highly prevalent cancers within the Japanese population.

The joint clinical research collaboration involves a retrospective study using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to investigate biomarkers associated with solid tumour collected from 2,000 cancer patients from the TMDU Biobank Project. The study is expected to pave the way for future development of safer and more effective drugs, as well as formulate novel methods of diagnosis.

This study looks to analyse genomic alterations of 440 genes involved in cancer development, treatment response, drug resistance, and immunity. Comprehensive genomic analysis will be done using a flagship cancer gene panel list by ACT Genomics, ACTOnco®+.

TMDU Bioresource Research Center (BRC) will provide formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples and clinical information. CAP-accredited laboratory facilities by ACT Genomics and ACTmed – currently applying for CAP-accreditation – will be responsible for sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. Genomic mutation patterns including mutation, copy number variation (CNV), microsatellite instability (MSI), and tumour mutation burden (TMB) will be integrated with clinicopathological information. The obtained data will be utilized to identify potential biomarkers for prognosis and predict treatment response.

Recruitment of consenting patients as well as the storage of biospecimens and clinical data was established in the TMDU Medical Hospital and Dental Hospital. Comprehensive informed consent has been obtained from 6,500 patients, and over 15,000 high quality biospecimens, including genomic DNA from peripheral blood or saliva, serum, fresh frozen tissue samples and FFPE tissue samples, have been stored as of September 2019. The detailed clinical information of those bioresources on BRC server is safely managed and regularly updated from the Electronic Medical Record System. A sample search system has also been organized, and the samples are available for distribution for research purposes to both internal and external researchers with appropriate approval from Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Joint clinical research collaboration hopes to accelerate not only local precision medicine services but also facilitate multinational collaborations. [APBN]