2020 African American genomes

    A genomic sequencing initiative to help understand and eliminate the causes of cancer health disparities in the African American/black population was launched in March. The death rate for all cancers combined is 25% higher in African American/black people than in white people, according to the US National Cancer Institute. To address this public health challenge, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and its collaborators will sequence both tumor and normal tissue from 2,020 consenting African American/black cancer patients by 2020. The AACR will make the results from the project, known as “2020 by 2020,” freely available to academic and industry researchers to accelerate discovery, and enhance cancer diagnosis and treatment in this medically underserved population. The AACR will partner with Pelotonia, a nonprofit organization that raises money for cancer research through bike rides, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center informatics company M2Gen, based in Tampa, Florida, and the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN). To facilitate data sharing, leaders of the project have selected a common protocol from the Total Cancer Care Protocol at Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta. The genomic data will be added to the AACR Project GENIE (Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange) registry, and then made available to public cancer genome registries. Some analyses have revealed a racial bias and a lack of diversity in genome-wide association studies (Nature 538, 161–164, 2016). A 2017 study of lung tumor and normal tissue samples in African Americans and European Americans found differences in gene expression in the two groups (Clin. Cancer Res. 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-0527, 2017).

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    2020 African American genomes. Nat Biotechnol 36, 380 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt0518-380a

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