COSMIC, the Catalogue Of Somatic Mutations In Cancer (, is one of the most comprehensive web systems describing the impact of somatic mutations in human cancer. The information is sourced directly from the published scientific literature and the Cancer Genome Project's high throughput sequencing laboratories at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute UK (CGP), allowing a high data quality to be maintained. The v44 release (Nov. 2009) contained the curation of 8336 papers covering 71 known cancer genes by point mutation and 30 by gene fusion. The mutation data for all these genes is being maintained up-to-date and new genes are regularly added to this list. Additionally, 4871 genes and 2764 samples have been scrutinized by the CGP laboratories. As cancer genetics moves toward the analysis of whole genomes, COSMIC is being updated to handle and display these data and increase the functionality of the website.

With the rapid development of sequencing technologies, the quantity of data that can be put into COSMIC is increasing fast. We have extended our curation process to include large exome-wide candidate gene screens, recently including the first such screen from Sjoblom et al (2006), and the first TCGA screen (2008) with other large scale screening datasets being curated. In addition, whole-genome screens are becoming available with many non-coding variations. From the CGP laboratories, we already have two low-coverage genome rearrangement screens in COSMIC and this will rapidly expand, beginning with the imminent release of rearrangement scans in a set of 24 breast tumours. High-coverage genome analyses are also beginning to become available; with full genome coverage, the majority of somatic mutations in a tumour can be identified and COSMIC is being prepared to receive and display this data.

With the inclusion of these new data, the COSMIC website has evolved to allow more easy access to required data. New specialization filters are in place to provide methods to search for subsets of COSMIC data in the usual user-friendly web pages. More extensive investigations can be performed using the new COSMIC Biomart, an industry-standard data mining system allowing access through web pages or programmatic interfaces.

As the inclusion of new genomic data accelerates and the systems through which it can be accessed evolve, COSMIC is well placed to remain a central resource in human cancer genetics.

Note: This abstract was not presented at the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010 because the presenter was unable to attend.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2010 Apr 17-21; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2010;70(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 93.