Looking back at 2020 and forward into the future
What a strange year 2020 has been. Nobody could have predicted that as we started the New Year making exciting plans, everything would swiftly come to a halt and never quite get back to ‘normal’ again. Mutographs, like most research projects had to quickly adapt to the new ways in which science was to be […]Read more
Pathology: the revealing examination of Mutographs tissue samples
Tumour tissues as part of the biological sample collection around the world become part of the Mutographs project following strict eligibility criteria, based on pathology examination. This process is part of work package 1 (WP1), led by Paul Brennan and centralised in the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) in France. Behnoush Abedi-Ardekani (MD) […]Read more
The around the world journey of Mutographs samples
Following the Mutographs’ focus on kidney, colorectal and pancreatic cancers, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and esophageal adenocarcinoma, the co-Principal Investigator at IARC Paul Brennan heads work package 1 to investigate the incidence of these cancers worldwide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), is an intergovernmental institution located in Lyon, France, that forms part […]Read more
We might be at home but science goes on
As COVID-19 spread around the world, continents and countries shut down all but essential activity in quick succession. Research and science have been no exception and institutions have closed. Not being able to go into the labs means that experiments have to be stopped and samples frozen until we can resume lab work. Nevertheless our […]Read more
On the first of May Mutographs celebrated its third anniversary. The occasion has traditionally been marked by teams getting together for lunch or dinner and a few drinks. This time it was a different celebration, all the teams got together online and everyone provided their own drinks. The European teams had beer and wine while […]Read more
From the Summit: what is the future vision of Patient Involvement?
The CRUK Grand Challenge Project had a summit in Windsor in February 2020. Alongside the science a strong emphasis was devoted to considerations around communication with and involvement of patients to bring research and clinic closer together. The CRUK Grand Challenge Project Summit’s three-day programme was packed with the scientific advances all the participating groups […]Read more
Cancer in the Czech Republic: From the Velvet revolution to the genomics revolution
In May 2019, patient advocates Mimi McCord and Maggie Blanks travelled to the Czech Republic as part of the Cancer Research UK Mutographs of Cancer Grand Challenge project. They were accompanied by the project’s public engagement and patient and public involvement coordinator, Louise Walker, along with Ghislaine Scelo and Behnoush Abedi-Ardekani from IARC and […]Read more
“If you know, there is a Nobel prize for you!” – Searching for the causes of cancer in the Czech Republic
In May 2019, patient advocates Mimi McCord and Maggie Blanks travelled to Czech Republic to meet some of the researchers working on the Cancer Research UK Mutographs of Cancer Grand Challenge project and find out more about the experiences of cancer patients in the country. https://www.mutographs.org/ They were accompanied by the project’s public engagement and […]Read more
What we learned in Lyon
In July 2019, the Mutographs team held a conference in Lyon, France that brought together our collaborators from across the world. Here, the patient advocates for the Mutographs project, Maggie and Mimi, share their thoughts and things they learned on the conference. There had been a heatwave in Lyon the week before we were due […]Read more
Building a ‘criminal database’ of environmental cancer causes
Jill Kucab from King’s College London explains how the Mutographs team are building a ‘criminal database’ of suspects that might be causing cancer. Clues in our DNA Sometimes people develop cancer and we have a pretty good idea what has caused it. For example, too much sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, and lung […]Read more
Liver cancer in Southeast Asia and beyond
Rose Li, a physician scientist at the University of California, San Francisco, explains how her work on the Mutographs project is helping to understand the causes of liver cancer, a condition that affects a large number of people in China and Southeast Asia. My father was born in a poor rice paddy village in Southern […]Read more
The curious case of oesophageal cancer
Cases of oesophageal cancer have an unusual pattern across the world. Some very specific regions can have a large numbers of cases but neighbouring regions have very few people affected. Here, Dariush Nesheli from IARC explains how researchers are working to uncover the reasons why this happens. Mutational signatures can be thought of as signs […]Read more
The life of a Mutographs scientist
My name is Sarah, and I am a scientist in Mike Stratton’s group working on the Mutographs project. I have been working on this project for just over a year now, and as you will have read in the previous blog post, it has been a very busy year! I work mainly on work area […]Read more
What did we achieve on Mutographs in 2018?
Mutographs project manager Laura Humphreys reflects on what the project has achieved in 2018, and highlights what the team will be up to in 2019. The last year has been great for the Mutographs team, with progress being made across all areas of the project. We were also busy outside of the lab as we […]Read more
How can artificial intelligence help us identify causes of cancer?
Phoebe He, a scientist in the Alexandrov Lab at the University of California San Diego, explains how machine learning and artificial intelligence are crucial to the work of the Mutographs project. The Mutographs project is based around the study of mutational signatures. These signatures describe patterns of changes, known as mutations, in the DNA of […]Read more
Bringing Mutographs to life for shoppers in Cambridge
Mutographs scientist Tim Butler explains how researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute developed an activity to showcase the work of the Mutographs team to shoppers in Cambridge. In September 2018 some of us on the Sanger Mutographs team had the pleasure of participating in the ‘Life Lab’ event. This is part of European Researchers’ Night, […]Read more
How can mini-organs help us to understand cancer?
Hear more from Maggie and Mimi about how growing mini-organs in the lab will help us to understand DNA signatures. One of the great things about the Mutographs project is that we are using lots of different ways to explore the role of DNA signatures in cancer. One of the most exciting techniques being used […]Read more
What does a mutational signature look like?
In the Mutographs project, we are investigating signatures that are left in DNA by lifestyle and environmental factors. These signatures are formed of changes to DNA known as “mutations”, which is why we call them “mutational signatures”. But what does a mutational signature look like? What information can these signatures tell us? Read on to […]Read more
Oesophageal cancer in Kenya
In February 2018, patient advocates Mimi McCord and Maggie Blanks and journalist and author Kat Arney travelled to Eldoret, Kenya, where samples are being collected for the Mutographs project. In this guest post, Kat explains why they went there and what they discovered about oesophageal cancer in East Africa. This is an edited version of […]Read more
Sanger scientists win £20 million ‘Grand Challenge’ funding from Cancer Research UK
Professor Sir Mike Stratton will lead an international team to help transform our understanding of what causes cancer Wellcome Sanger Institute researchers have landed one of the biggest funding grants ever awarded by Cancer Research UK. The charity is set to invest £20 million over the next five years in a ground-breaking research project led […]Read more