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International Team Launches Community Competition to Understand Tumor Origins and Evolution

An international consortium of groups from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have come together to create an innovative, cloud-based, public challenge running on the Google Cloud Platform to optimize the discovery of genetically distinct groups of cells within cancers that could respond differently to treatment and have different risk of spreading. The ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling Heterogeneity (SMC-Het) Challenge is the first project in the world to marry crowd-sourced benchmarking and cloud-based execution of DNA sequencing analysis pipelines to improve our understanding of tumour DNA. The Challenge launched on November 16, 2015 and will run until May 2016. Sign up to participate at: https://www.synapse.org/SMCHet.

Researchers Find That Tumor DNA and Cells in the Blood Can Be Used to Diagnose Prostate Cancer and Drug Resistance in Breast Cancer

Last month, the “Molecular Diagnostics” issue of Clinical Chemistry, the journal of AACC, featured new research on a genetic test for prostate cancer that could replace the unreliable prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, as well as a more accurate test for breast cancer drug resistance. Both tests could help patients receive more targeted treatment for prostate and breast cancer, which in the U.S. are the second leading causes of cancer death in men and women, respectively.