Biotech Updates

ABSOLUTE: A New View of the Cancer Genome

May 11, 2012

Scientists who want to unlock cancer's secrets are faced with the challenge of quantifying DNA alterations that may underlie malignancy in cancer cells. To help solve the complications of the search for genetic alterations in cancer, researchers at the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University developed a new computational method called ABSOLUTE.

From relative measures of DNA mass to calculate genetic changes on an absolute (per cell) basis, ABSOLUTE infers each sample's purity and "ploidy", or the number of genomes in each cancer cell. Currently, the method is being used in several large cancer genome projects. It also helps scientists in discovering more about the evolution and population structure of cells within tumors. According to Gad Getz, senior author of the study and director general of cancer genome computational analysis at the Broad Institute, this method provides a new window into exploring genetic changes underlying cancer at the cellular level. "This invaluable tool also gives an unprecedented look at the cellular makeup of tumors in large-scale studies," he added.

Read more about how ABSOLUTE method works at