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And here come the doctors…

FAPESP publishes list of groups affiliated to the Clinical Genome Program

M.A. ZAGO Archive/FMRP-USPGenes of chronic myeloid leukemiaM.A. ZAGO Archive/FMRP-USP

Under the coordination of oncologists and surgeons from São Paulo, eighteen work groups have affiliated themselves to the Clinical Cancer Genome Program, implemented by FAPESP and the Ludwig Institute for Research into Cancer, to analyze the development of genes expressed in four kinds in which cancer manifests itself: lympho-proliferative diseases, gastrointestinal tumors, neurological tumors, and those of the head and neck. The Foundation and the Institute will be putting at the disposal of the groups, for a period of two years, US$ 1 million for financing equipment and the personnel directly involved in collecting the patients’ material and clinical data.

Each kind of tumor will be analyzed by at least six groups of general practitioners and surgeons. In their research, they will be able to count on the support of another four groups, made up of pathologists who will be responsible for making the criteria for diagnoses homogeneous and for classifying the tumors, among other activities, and by epidemiologists who will help with the planning of the projects, such as for example – defining the number of patients in the sample and the vital statistics. “Each one of the coordinators is connected to big clinics or hospitals with their own criteria for diagnostics, classification of diseases, etc. The program will need to unify all of this in order to reach common results”, explains Marco Antonio Zago, the coordinator of the program.

On June 11th last, the groups met for the first time, to define the types of tumor whose development they will be monitoring. The second step will be to begin to collect the biological material and to start the clinical observations. The expectation is that the groups will already have sufficient material to begin their analyses from the sixth month of the program. “The material collected will be examined by laboratories that are to be defined”, states Zago. The laboratories are going to analyze the genomic expression of each tumor and compare it with the development of normal cells.

“For the first approach, the clones of the Cancer Genome will be used.” The strategy for research is to associate the biological material with the background of the patient, the kind of tumor, the response to treatment and the evolution of the disease. “And this is critical for getting some kind of organized information”, says Zago.Before the material starts to be collected, the coordinators will have to ask for authorization from the committees of ethics of their respective hospitals, and to produce, under the supervision of the committee of ethics, an explanation that will be shown to the patient.

One of the main targets of the Clinical Genome Program is to transfer the success of the basic projects of the Cancer Genome to the applied part, according to Zago. Another pertinent point is that the program sets out to create a model of organization of research, based on cooperative groups, with specific targets. “If it works out, this model may be valid for other related medical themes, like diabetes, for example.”

Coordinators /Institutions

Alberto Alain Gabbai / Unifesp
Angelita Habr-Gama / USP
Antonio Sergio Petrilli / Unifesp
Carlos Eduardo Bacchi / Unesp
Carlos Gilberto Carlotti Jr. / USP-RP
Delcio Matos / Unifesp
Francisco Gorgonio da Nóbrega / Univap
Gisele Wally Braga Colleoni / Unifesp
Ivan Cecconello / USP
Joaquim José Gama-Rodrigues / USP
José Eluf Neto / USP
José Francisco de Gois Filho / IC Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho
Kiyoshi Iriya / USP
Luiz Gonzaga Tone / USP-RP
Marcello Fabiano de Franco / USP
Marcos Brasilino de Carvalho / Heliópolis Hospital
Maria Lucia de Martino Lee / Unifesp
Nora Manoukian Forones / Unifesp
Patricia Maluf Cury / FMSJRP
Paulo Andrade Lotufo / USP
Pedro Michaluart Junior / USP
Raul Cutait / Sírio Libanês Hospital
Sergio Rosemberg / USP
Silvia Regina Brandalise / Boldrini Center for Infants
Suely Kazue Nagahashi Marie / USP
Venâncio Avancini Ferreira Alves / USP
Vera Luiza Capelozzi / USP
Vicente Odone Filho / USP
Victor Wünsch Filho / USP