Polyethnic-1000: Advancing cancer genomics by studying ethnically diverse, underserved patient populations in New York

Published on Jul 1, 2019
· DOI :10.1158/1538-7445.AM2019-5128
Fieke E.M. Froeling15
Estimated H-index: 15
,
Nicolas Robine27
Estimated H-index: 27
+ 5 AuthorsDavid A. Tuveson92
Estimated H-index: 92
Source
Abstract
Background and aims Recent advances in DNA sequencing technologies have revolutionized approaches to the prevention, risk assessment, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers. However, many ethnic groups, especially non-European populations, have been significantly under-represented in cancer research, including clinical trials, and have not received equal benefits in clinical practice. As a result, our current knowledge about tumor biology, cancer risk, and response to treatment has primarily been derived from patients of European descent. These inequities limit our understanding of the many types of cancer and may exacerbate health disparities in the United States. This multi-institutional study, named Polyethnic-1000, aims to address both the scientific and social issues by creating a dynamic research platform within the ethnically diverse greater New York City area. Methods and results Polyethnic-1000 is a collaborative effort organized by the New York Genome Center (NYGC), involving staff and patients at academic centers and partnering hospitals in the New York City region. The genomics and informatics capabilities of the NYGC will be used to determine how inherited and somatically acquired genetic variations affect the behavior of cancers occurring in ethnically diverse populations. In a first, retrospective stage we are establishing the necessary infrastructure and workflow from sample acquisition to whole-exome and RNA sequencing, data analysis and data sharing within the consortium. Then we will start a prospective study enabling the formation of cohorts of interest for particular cancer types and particular ethnicities, with uniform consent allowing germline and somatic sequencing with broad data sharing of the somatic variants identified. Conclusion By establishing a collaborative network, Polyethnic-1000 will deepen our understanding of the contributions that ethnicities make to the incidence and biology of cancers, potentially improving outcomes for patients who currently lack access to the most recent advances in medical science.
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