Posted: October 11, 2012

Chromophobe Kidney Cancer Sample Collection Completion Marks Two Important Events for TCGA

Image: Dr. Kenna Shaw

Kenna Shaw, Ph.D.
Director of The Cancer Genome Atlas Program Office

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) reached another set of milestones earlier this summer when sample acquisition for chromophobe kidney cancer samples (KICH on the TCGA Data Portal) closed. Completion of sample collection for this rare cancer is important in several ways.

  • Initiation of Rare Tumor Projects: Historically, TCGA has set a goal of 500 qualified cases per histopathologic diagnosis.  This number provides sufficient power to detect recurrent mutations found in just 3 to 5 percent of cases, the level of sensitivity that TCGA aims to achieve. However, this quantity of biospecimen is simply unachievable for many rare tumor types.  Considering the scarcity of these tumor types and their public health impact, in late 2011 TCGA initiated a rare tumor project with the aim of characterizing approximately 50 cases across at least 10 rare cancer diagnoses. In this effort to examine 500 rare tumor cases, TCGA is able to comprehensively characterize rare tumor types that otherwise might not have been researched. Chromophobe kidney will mark the first of these tumor types to be completed, with 65 cases qualified. As more tumor type projects are identified as feasible, they will be announced on the TCGA website. Those interested in nominating rare tumor projects to TCGA should email the Program Office at tcga@mail.nih.gov.
  • Near Collection Goals for the First 10 Tumor Projects: Closing chromophobe kidney cancer sample acquisition also marked the closure of our ninth tumor type. TCGA has completed broad accrual for glioblastoma, ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma, colon, rectal, breast ductal, papillary thyroid, clear cell kidney and endometrial cancer. These tumor projects do remain open to collection of samples from African American individuals. Both lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous carcinoma are estimated to close by the end of 2012. In contrast to the progress on these projects, many other TCGA tumor types remain far from reaching the intended target of 500 qualified cases. This Leadership Update is a call and reminder to investigators throughout the world that TCGA continues to seek collaborators for many tumor types: 
    • cervical adenocarcinoma
    • cervical squamous carcinoma
    • hepatocellular carcinoma
    • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
    • breast lobular carcinoma
    • acute myeloid leukemia
    • invasive bladder urothelial carcinoma
    • lower grade gliomas
    • papillary kidney cancer
    • prostate adenocarcinoma
    • pancreatic adenocarcinoma
    • diffuse and intestinal stomach adenocarcinoma
    • esophageal adenocarcinoma
    • esophageal squamous carcinoma
    • sarcoma

Investigators with samples that meet TCGA criteria or who can collect prospectively are encouraged to contact us as we move to end accrual for this phase of TCGA in the next 15 months.

TCGA continues to work towards fulfillment of its promise to the cancer research community- to provide the highest quality cancer genomics data as a community resource.  We encourage all members of the community to take full advantage of this resource and join our community through collaboration and sample submission to this important initiative.