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Unique pathology atlas paves the way for personalised cancer treatment

2017-08-18

A unique pathology atlas is now being launched and made available to researchers all over the world. It maps cancer-related genes and opens up a new route towards personalised cancer treatment.

The atlas project has been led by Professor Mathias Uhlén, SciLifeLab, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in cooperation with colleagues from Uppsala University and elsewhere.

The new pathology atlas is a major step forward for the dream of personalised cancer treatment. The analyses of data from 8,000 patients and five million pathology-based images cover all human genes involved in all common forms of cancer (17 different cancer types) and show the consequences of their corresponding protein levels for patient survival.
The findings show great heterogeneity among individual tumours, which underlines the need for personalised treatment strategies and has major implications for survival.  The analysis makes it possible to produce personalised genetic models to identify key genes involved in tumour growth.

The supercomputer facility available at Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) has been very important for the work on the pathology atlas.
“Our study demonstrates the power of ‘big data’ to change how medical research is performed,” says Professor Uhlén.
 
The pathology atlas is now being opened up to researchers around the world.
“We are pleased to provide a stand-alone open-access resource for cancer researchers worldwide, which we hope will accelerate their efforts to find the biomarkers needed to develop personalised cancer treatments,” says Fredrik Pontén, Professor of Clinical and Experimental Pathology at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University.

Link to the Pathology Atlas

Link to press release about the Pathology Atlas

Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) is a national centre for molecular biosciences with a focus on health and environmental research. The centre combines technical expertise and advanced instruments with a broad knowledge of translational medicine and molecular biosciences.