Major new cancer clinical and genetic database to be built in Boston

According to an article published today in The Boston Globe, the Dana-Farber Cancer Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are working together to initiate development of a very large, cancer-specific, genetic and clinical database.

While the development of this database is not focused exclusively on prostate cancer, it is this type of database — combining whole genome sequencing studies of specific tumors with access to the clinical and health records of individual patients from whom these tumors are isolated — that can help us to take major steps forward in understanding the biology of cancer. And if Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s think they can collect data from 10,000 patients per year, as suggested in the article, then a lot of those data will relate to prostate cancer.

Dr. Philip Kantoff, the chief clinical research officer at Dana-Farber, is quoted as stating, “To me it’s really going to turn out . . . to be an enormous discovery tool.’’Dr. Kantoff is also a member of the scientific advisory board for The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink.

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