Groups study cancer genetics - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Groups study cancer genetics

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Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2004 6:10 am | Updated: 5:20 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Scottsdale Healthcare and international genetic research organizations are working together to pioneer research in the treatment and prevention of cancer.

In doing so, researchers at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and Scottsdale Healthcare are riding the wave of the future.

"I think it’s an extremely exciting time in the Valley," said Dr. Larry Miller, director of the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale Cancer Center. "The connections that are taking place throughout the Valley . . . are making all of our groups that much more effective and competitive."

The joint research is making it easier to recruit scientists and helping researchers to secure grants, Miller said.

Dr. Rafael Fonseca has received a joint appointment with Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and the Translational Genomics Institute to study multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. The institute is a Phoenixbased, nonprofit collaborative research institute that uses genetic discoveries to diagnose and treat disease.

Fonseca and his team research the cells that are prone to mutations that form cancer. "We’re researching why they’re occurring, how they contribute to formation of the disease," he said.

Researchers from both institutions share tissue samples, information and technology. Institute researchers will be at Mayo Clinic’s Scottsdale campus this summer.

On March 5, Scottsdale Healthcare became the first U.S. medical center to provide cancer tissue samples to the Phoenix-based International Genomics Consortium, in order to develop cancer treatments. The consortium is a nonprofit medical research organization at the the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea hospital.

The consortium’s Expression Project for Oncology is compiling a tissue sample database, which will be available on the Internet to cancer researchers worldwide, said spokesman Keith Jones.

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