The Center for Translational and Public Health Genomics (CTPHG) was created to bridge the gap between epidemiologic discoveries and their translation into clinical and public health applications to benefit cancer patients, individuals at elevated risk for cancer, and the general population. Leveraging the large patient population and healthy controls with comprehensive data and biospecimens and the rapid development of new high-throughput biomedical technologies that generate genomic information at an unprecedented pace, the Center contributes to the institutional commitment of personalized medicine by providing expertise in translational genomics for cancer risk, prevention interventions, progression from pre-malignancy to cancer, pharmacogenomics to predict therapeutic response, and survivorship and quality of life (QOL).
The Center for Translational and Public Health Genomics takes advantage of MD Anderson’s large patient population and its well established foundation of epidemiologic and genomic research to facilitate and support translation and public health genomics research.
The Center for Translational and Public Health Genomics will serve as an institutional hub for research and scientific exchange among investigators in translational epidemiology, public health genomics, pharmacogenomics, clinical outcomes, and survivorship research with an emphasis on inherited genetic variations.
The Center has four major efforts that engage faculty across the institution with impact on prevention, early detection, prognosis, clinical outcomes, quality of life, and survivorship:
Development of the Blood Specimen Research Resource (BSRR). The BSRR is funded by the Center to systematically collect residual blood samples from all newly registered patients who sign the MD Anderson front door consent. We expanded the initial BSRR approach to develop additional banking efforts and research cohorts including MD Anderson Cancer Patients and Survivors cohort (MDA-CPSC), Long-term Survivorship Cohort, and Pediatric Cohort. These rich translational research resources can be used to define and integrate predictors and determinants of cancer-related risks and outcomes across the continuum of care.
Blood-based Biomarker Discovery, Development, and Validation. Drawing on established infrastructure, the Center provides an active platform for biomarker research for end-points across the cancer continuum. Using state-of the art high-throughput technologies, blood-based biomarkers are uncovered using a variety of genetic and “omic” analyses, as well as phenotypic assays. Discovery is followed by internal and external validation.
Personalized Risk Prediction Models and Computational Epidemiology. Towards the translation and implementation of Center research, ongoing efforts include development of personalized prediction models for risk of developing cancer, as well as other clinically-relevant endpoints across the cancer continuum. Integration of biomarker profiles and modifiable risk factors can inform potential for risk reduction through corresponding lifestyle changes. Strengths in statistical and computational epidemiology and development of next-generation sequencing pipelines and analytic tools provide support for model building, as well as many other Center associated projects.
Building Research Networks. To advance research across the institution, the Center engages in a number of collaborative research and educational activities, including collaborative biospecimen banking projects, the Distinguished Seminar Series, Symposia, and an International Training Program.
The Center leverages MD Anderson’s large patient population and its well established foundation of cutting-edge translational research to advance biomarker research with generation of risk models and clinical tools that can guide approaches in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship.
The CTPHG will work closely with other programs in the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer, Personalized Cancer Therapy the Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy, Institute for Cancer Care Excellence, Institute for Basic Science, as well as with other institutions within the Texas Medical Center and beyond.
To provide consultation and service and to foster and stimulate collaborations within and outside MD Anderson and actively participate in multi-institutional consortium activities of translational epidemiological studies; to educate the clinical utility of pharmacogenetic knowledge and the incorporation of pharmacogenetic components into prevention and therapy clinical trials.