In its three-year pilot phase, the Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium will sequence the tumour genomes of 1,000 patients in the hope of influencing their treatments. It will also look at another 3,000 previously obtained tumour biopsies to get a better idea of the mutations in different cancers, and how they influence a patient's response to a drug. In a second phase, the project will build the laboratory, clinical and computing infrastructure needed to bring such care to the 25,000 Norwegians who are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Similar projects are under way in the United Kingdom and at research hospitals in the United States, France and elsewhere. But Norway’s will be among the first to look for tumour mutations using next-generation DNA sequencing rather than conventional genetic testing.