Created in 1996, the Office of Cancer Genomics (OCG) connects genomics, chemical genetics and cancer research through information platforms, material resources and technology infrastructure. Different cancer types originate from a wide range of genetic mutations within an organ or tissue which define the molecular subtypes. Efforts to understand the origin of each subtype requires comprehensive and systematic approaches. The OCG has made numerous contributions to the research enterprise during its first decade and a half including development of databases of cancer characterization and chemical genetics data, development of bioinformatics tools to interpret the data, supporting the development of novel technologies for cancer characterization and making cDNA clones from seven species freely available to the research community.
The OCG helps the scientific community to overcome technological challenges by supporting research to: improve molecular characterization methods and their throughput; evaluate the various novel DNA sequencing technologies; improve the detection of epigenetic changes; and develop new analytical protocols to correlate disease state with the intricate network of molecular interactions in a cancer.
The large-scale genomic data sets require the development of new technologies to rapidly translate findings into patient-based therapies with associated predictive markers. The aim is to bridge the technology transfer gap, the "valley of death," in drug discovery and make progress possible. Already the development of novel molecular characterization technologies, including sequencing, has proven to be invaluable to the understanding of cancer-causing mechanisms. OCG is supporting the development of these processes and making results publicly available in an effort to accelerate innovations in drug discovery that will lead to better cancer treatments.