Aggressive prostate cancer linked to ancestral heritage

September 04, 2022

These changes are often overlooked because of the complexity involved in computationally predicting their presence, but are an area of critical importance and contribution to prostate cancer. This cancer genome resource is possibly the first and largest to include African data, in the world. “Through African inclusion, we have made the first steps not only towards globalising precision medicine but ultimately to reducing the impact of prostate cancer mortality across rural Africa,” explains Professor Bornman. The research featured in the Nature and Genome Medicine paper is part of the legacy of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. He was the first African to have his complete genome sequenced, data which would be an integral part of genetic sequencing and prostate cancer research in southern Africa.

As part of her PhD at the University of Sydney, Dr Tingting Gong, first author on the Genome Medicine paper, painstakingly sifted through the genomic data for large changes in the structure of chromosomes (molecules that hold genetic information). These changes are often overlooked because of the complexity involved in computationally predicting their presence, but are an area of critical importance and contribution to prostate cancer.

“We showed significant differences in the acquisition of complex genomic variation in African and European derived tumours, with consequences for disease progression and new opportunities for treatment,” said Dr Gong.

This cancer genome resource is possibly the first and largest to include African data, in the world.

“Through African inclusion, we have made the first steps not only towards globalising precision medicine but ultimately to reducing the impact of prostate cancer mortality across rural Africa,” explains Professor Bornman.

“A strength of this study was the ability to generate and process all data through a single technical and analytical pipeline,” added Professor Hayes.

The research featured in the Nature and Genome Medicine paper is part of the legacy of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. He was the first African to have his complete genome sequenced, data which would be an integral part of genetic sequencing and prostate cancer research in southern Africa.

The results of the sequencing were published in Nature in 2010. 

The source of this news is from University of Sydney

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