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Cancer Genomics in 2022: The Impact of Genomics on Cancer Research, Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Clinical Care


Genomics has the ability to transform our understanding of cancer, providing researchers with increasingly complex information on tumour heterogeneity and enabling clinicians to better monitor the success of certain treatments. Earlier this year, Ultima Genomics announced the $100 genome, sparking renewed excitement in the field and opening a whole new world of possibilities in the sequencing space.

In our latest cancer genomics report, we explore some of the key themes in the genomics space that continue to shape the way we view (and treat) cancer.

What’s included in the report?

  • Exclusive insights from our panel of contributors
  • Case studies on tumour evolution, spatial/functional genomics in immunotherapy, and multi-omics integration
  • Roundtable discussions on the road to clinical adoption of liquid biopsy and the future of cancer genomics as a whole
  • A breakdown of the current data analysis landscape and the role of integration in overcoming the remaining challenges
  • A closer look at the drug discovery and development pipeline and how clinical trial design can be improved
  • An overview of the latest sequencing options available, from short- and long-read to WGS technologies

Report contributors and advisers include:

  • Aditi Hazra, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Alastair Greystoke, Clinical Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant, Newcastle University
  • Alona Sosinsky, Scientific Director of Cancer, Genomics England
  • Andrew Beggs, Professor of surgery & Cancer Genetics, University of Birmingham
  • Arthur Liberzon, Principal Scientist, Alkermes
  • Brian Brown, Director, Icahn Genomics Institute, Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Claire Morgan, Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Swansea University
  • Colin Campbell, Reader in Mathematics for Information Technology, University of Bristol
  • Ellen Whiteside, Research Scientist, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Elin Gray, Associate Professor, Edith Cowan University
  • Jeffrey Moffitt,Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Jianguo (Jeff) Xia, Associate Professor, McGill University
  • Julie Zhu, Professor and Head of Bioinformatics Core, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Junyan Lu, Research Group Leader, Medical Faculty Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg
  • Kimberly Gilmour, Director of Laboratory Medicine, Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Maggie Cheang, Team Leader, Genomic Analysis of Clinical Trials, Institute of Cancer Research
  • Midhat Farooqi, Director, Molecular Oncology; Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine


Chapter 1: Cancer Biology

In this chapter, we will explore the cancer basics: oncogenesis, tumour formation and metastasis. To round off, we will deep dive into tumour evolution with Trevor Graham, Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer, Institute of Cancer Research.

Chapter 2: Sequencing Options

No report on cancer genomics would be complete without an exploration of the many tools available for sequencing the human genome. From short-read and long-read to whole genome sequencing technologies, we will discuss the variety of tools available to researchers investigating the complexities of the cancer genome, and cover the strengths and limitations of each.

Chapter 3: Multi-Omics

As the cancer genomics field continues to advance and evolve, more and more data is being thrown into the mix, offering a more holistic view of cancer than was ever possible before. Here, we will introduce the concept of multi-omics in cancer research and explore some of the exciting ways it can be used to gain a “big picture” view of cancer. Finally, Andrew Beggs, Professor of surgery & Cancer Genetics, University of Birmingham, takes us through some of the challenges involved in delivering multi-omics to the clinic.

Chapter 4: Liquid Biopsy

Is this the beginning of a new dawn for cancer diagnostics? We take a whistle-stop tour of the liquid biopsy arena, from circulating tumour DNA to the potential applications in monitoring treatment response in high-risk patients. Our experts also discuss how to navigate the bumpy road to its widespread adoption.

Chapter 5: Immunotherapy and Precision Oncology

This chapter provides a brief overview of the radically disruptive field of immunotherapy in cancer. Immunotherapy will be introduced in the context of cancer treatment, followed by an outline of the role of genomics in informing and developing immunotherapy in cancer treatment and prevention. We will also hear from Brian Brown, Director of the Icahn Genomics Institute, about his work to bring spatial/functional genomics into the immunotherapy realm.

Chapter 6: Drug Discovery and Development

We take a closer look at why drugs fail, how genomics can facilitate the entire process, and some of the available tools for achieving this goal. Maggie Cheang, Team Leader, Genomic Analysis of Clinical Trials, The Institute of Cancer Research, will also share her thoughts on the five key steps to designing appropriate and successful clinical trials in this space.

Chapter 7: Data Analysis, Integration and Sharing

The sheer amount of data now available in the cancer genomics field is impressive – but challenges lay ahead before the value of this information can be realised in the clinical space. Here, we talk you through some of the barriers to successful implementation within healthcare, including a look at some of the ways data can be shared across borders. Finally, we’ll hear from Stephanie Byrum (Associate Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences) and Jeff Xia (Associate Professor, McGill University) about the role of data integration in overcoming some of the issues discussed.

Chapter 8: The Future

The final word is left to Jeff Xia, Alona Sosinsky, Aditi Hazra, Midhat Farooqi, Colin Campbell, Maggie Cheang and Brian Brown who all share their thoughts on where the cancer genomics field is heading.

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More on these topics

Cancer / Cancer Research / Genomics

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