Genomic Understanding

Gastric Cancer Foundation has been the primary contributor to a Stanford University Genome Technology Center project that is creating a digital version of the gastric cancer genome based on DNA sequencing. Investigators use a high-performance computing and storage system to conduct state-of-the-art analysis of stomach cancer tissue and blood DNA samples. They use the integration of three separate approaches to provide a high-resolution overview of the gastric cancer genome.

  1. DNA sequencing – identifies large errors that involve entire regions of the cancer genome and delineates these complex changes with a DNA sequencing process called paired-end analysis.
  2. Analysis of targeted regions – identifies specific mutations. Regions are chosen based on the likelihood that they contain cancer genes, partly extrapolated based on known cancer genes and genes occurring in the genomic changes discovered in the first approach.
  3. Characterization of RNA transcriptome of gastric tumors – special emphasis is placed on genes that are identified from the first two approaches.

This integrated approach makes it possible to ascertain the fundamental “digital code” of gastric cancer and to identify errors in the DNA code, which contribute to cancer prognosis. Furthermore, the highly sophisticated process identifies potential targets for specific drug therapies. The availability of this information holds significant value in helping researchers improve the clinical care of gastric cancer patients.

Identifying the Genetic Inheritance Factors for Gastric Cancer Risk and Development

By bringing together the Registry and genomics, Gastric Cancer Foundation strives to build an understanding of the genetic inheritance that places some individuals at a high risk for the disease.

Gastric Cancer Foundation is working toward identifying individuals or families with a particularly high risk of developing gastric cancer due to hereditary factors, and intensive screening for early detection.

The only way that we can stop cancer before it starts is to understand those people who may have an inherent genetic risk. DNA sequencing technologies offer powerful approaches to identifying candidate genes for familial cancer risk. Ultimately, this genetic approach to risk assessment will be used together with advances in clinical screening and prevention of gastric cancer.