Investigation: omics technologies for PCM

Final report: PCM Report – Omics & bioinformatics

Investigator:   Anders Wennborg

Background

The rapid technological development since the turn of the millennium, in particular concerning DNA sequencing, has provided the cancer research community with new and powerful tools for application in personalised cancer medicine. Individual patient samples can now be analysed for tumor-related mutations at costs and timespans that are in the same range as other diagnostic investigations used in health care.

Omics data, including genomics (all genes) and proteomics (all proteins), can be translated to clinical benefit by serving as basis for discovery of novel biomarkers and targets for new drugs to be subsequently developed for clinical use.

This type of information can also be used for direct clinical translation to individual patients, where tumor DNA sequences are used to guide choice of drugs that are targeted to a given DNA aberration found in the patient’s tumor. There is also ongoing research on personalised immunotherapies based on mutation data.

The current objective in this field of cancer research is to determine the clinical utility of using these types of tests for directing cancer treatment at a personal level. This is being investigated in clinical studies and the PCM program supports pilot research projects with this specific aim.

Objectives

The purpose of this investigation is to provide an overview of the workflow and infrastructure facilities required for clinically oriented omics research, from samples to clinical outcome. The aim is to identify areas where the PCM program can actively facilitate omics research projects and pave the way for subsequent routine deployment of clinically useful procedures.