• Findings were reported from a study that claims to be the first large-scale trial of whole-genome cancer testing at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2012 Congress in Vienna in October. In the SAFIR01 trial, researchers at the Institute Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, developed a program in which the entire genome from a biopsy of a metastatic lesion was analyzed prospectively for 248 individual patients with metastatic breast cancer.

  • In a comprehensive study of samples from 825 patients, The Cancer Genome Atlas has confirmed and greatly broadened the understanding of the 4 major subtypes of breast cancer: HER2-enriched, luminal A, luminal B, and basal-like (Nature 2012;490:61–70). Among results, the work uncovered marked genomic similarities between the basal-like subtype and high-grade serous ovarian cancer

  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center launched its Moon Shots Program, which will bring together sizable multidisciplinary groups of its researchers and clinicians to accelerate cancer research. The 6 initial Moon Shot teams will target acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, melanoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and triple-negative breast and ovarian cancers.

  • BGI-Shenzhen of Shenzhen, China, is acquiring Complete Genomics of Mountain View, CA, for approximately $117.6 million. Complete Genomics, which offers whole-genome sequencing services and its own sequencing technologies, will continue operating as a separate company. BGI is the world's largest sequencing organization.

  • The American Association for Cancer Research released itsCancer Progress Report 2012, which highlights the need for strong funding for cancer science. “Any further reduction in funding for cancer research and biomedical science would result in a major setback in our ability to develop even more effective interventions and save lives from cancer,” said AACR President Frank McCormick, PhD, director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://CDnews.aacrjournals.org.