October 15, 1997

Scientists Revel in New Research Tool: An Online Index of Cancer Genes

JAMA. 1997;278(15):1221-1224. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550150025012

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WHEN CANCER researchers of the future look back on the end of this decade, they may see it as a turning point in their chosen field, when a marriage of genetics, technology, and computer science made it possible to probe the disease's molecular roots in a manner previously unimaginable.

An ambitious endeavor developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the recently launched Cancer Genome Anatomy Project (CGAP) seeks to compile no less than a complete index of genes expressed in the development of cancer. This mother lode of information, free for the asking at the CGAP Web site ( ncicgap) with a few clicks of a computer mouse, will enable cancer researchers to sort through vast quantities of biomedical information, from the genetic sequences of fragments of genes, whose complete identity and function are unknown, to genetic databases