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Solid Tumors Reveal Their Secrets: Predictive and Prognostic Evidence from Copy Number Analysis

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Solid Tumors Reveal Their Secrets: Predictive and Prognostic Evidence from Copy Number Analysis

Recorded 11 June 2014



Recent research has revealed the importance of copy number analysis in the study of solid tumors. New evidence argues that tumors can be classified in those driven by either mutations (M class) or copy number aberrations (C class). C class tumors include breast, ovarian, and squamous cell lung cancers as well as, some believe, prostate cancer. Other publications have noted that predictive copy number changes are more frequent than predictive somatic mutation changes in solid tumor samples. These results seem to indicate that there is some risk to limiting tumor profiling to somatic mutations, and emphasize the importance of whole genome copy number analysis in identifying clinically relevant prognostic and predictive markers. This process is technically challenging, especially when using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue or heterogeneous samples where only a small fraction of cells may be aberrant. Next generation sequencing technologies have limited ability to detect clinically relevant lower level amplifications, copy neutral loss of heterozygosity, and homozygous deletions, even at significant depth of coverage. This webinar will explore the importance of copy number analysis and highlight new technologies that are making this process more accessible, especially in solid tumor samples.

During the webinar, the speakers will:

  • Discuss the importance of copy number analysis in solid tumors and its relevance for identifying predictive and prognostic biomarkers in cancers
  • Provide their own data on copy number changes found in solid tumors and how these analyses have informed their research
  • Highlight the technologies they have used to identify clinically relevant and informative copy number changes in solid tumor samples
  • Answer your questions live during the webinar!

To learn more about products or technologies related to this webinar, go to: www.affymetrix.com/oncoscan

Speaker bios

Paul C. Boutros, Ph.D.

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Toronto, Canada

Dr. Boutros pursued his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Waterloo. During a work-term spent at Michigan State University he discovered a passion for developing computer models of how cells respond to drugs and toxins. He extended this work in his undergraduate thesis to focus on modeling DNA damage. In 2008, Dr. Boutros was awarded his Ph.D. from the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto for his work on the development of novel biomarkers for predicting cancer severity. That same year he joined the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Dr. Boutros is now a principal investigator in informatics and biocomputing at OICR, and an assistant professor in the Departments of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on personalizing therapy for prostate cancer by developing novel statistical methodologies. He is leading the bioinformatics analysis of the sequencing of 500 prostate cancers as part of the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE), and is using these data to develop biomarkers for intermediate risk prostate cancer. He is a Prostate Cancer Canada Rising Star in Prostate Cancer Research, a Terry Fox New Investigator Award recipient, and leads the ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling Challenge that is setting global standards for analyzing cancer genomic data.

Ajay Pandita, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Core Diagnostics
Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Pandita received his undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine and his Master’s degree in veterinary pathology at Haryana Agricultural University in India. Following his Doctorate in cellular and molecular pathology at the University of Toronto, Canada, he completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Molecular Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Pandita worked as a scientist for Genentech within various diagnostics sub-teams, where he was responsible for developing personalized health care strategies for Genentech molecules in the pipeline. In 2011, he moved to OncoMDx (recently renamed Core Diagnostics) where he presently serves as chief science officer. In this position, he is responsible for developing personalized health care strategies for projects from early research and preclinical studies, and for generating novel biomarker assays for their clinical labs. Dr. Pandita has over 20 years of experience in the field of molecular cytogenetics and molecular biology. He has consulted for various research groups in academia and industry and is the recipient of many honors including a Young Investigator Award from the Children’s Tumor Foundation. He has published numerous articles for peer-reviewed journals and has shared his expertise through various national lectures and presentations.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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