A collection of recently published news items.
The genetic testing company Ambry Genetics launched AmbryShare, a disease-specific public database that includes anonymized, aggregated data from 10,000 patient samples. The company sequenced the exomes of deidentified patients with hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and found 10-fold more genes implicated in these conditions than previously known.
A report issued by the California Life Sciences Association and Boston Consulting Group found that FDA review times for new drugs have steadily declined since 2009, when a review took 21 months on average. That average was cut to 9 months by 2014, with cancer treatments receiving some of the fastest reviews.
Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen will launch an eponymous foundation with $100 million to advance biologic research. His Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group announced several grants, including a $20 million grant to fund the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University that will help researchers understand the “biological code that determines anatomical structure and function during embryogenesis, regeneration, and tumor suppression.”
Developed by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, a new staging system for breast cancer considers five factors—preclinical stage, estrogen receptor status, HER2 status, grade, and posttreatment pathologic stage. Researchers say that the new tool will refine prognostic stratification and help clinicians decide which patients would benefit from additional therapy (JAMA Oncol 2016 March 17 [Epub ahead of print]).
Of 2,211 doctors recently polled, 64% thought that regular colon cancer screenings should begin before age 50, the current recommendation. The poll was conducted in response to two recent studies—one found that nearly 15% of patients with colorectal cancer are diagnosed before age 50, and another concluded that younger patients are more likely to have advanced disease (Cancer Med 2015;4:1863–70; Cancer 2016; 122:929–34).
For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/early/by/section.