Tokyo Medical & Dental University Teams Up to Investigate Cancer Genomic Landscape

Feb 18, 2020 | Biobank, Biorepository, Japan, Tissue

Tokyo Medical & Dental University Teams Up to Investigate Cancer Genomic Landscape

Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), ACT Genomics (Taipei, Taiwan) and ACTmed (Japan) jointly launched a clinical research collaboration targeting the establishment of comprehensive genomic profiles of high prevalent cancers afflicting the Japanese population. A retrospective study, the trio will utilize next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to investigate biomarkers associated with solid tumors collected from 2,000 cancer patients in TMDU Biobank Project. The three organizations hope the study will lead to the future development of more effective and safer drugs not to mention novel diagnostic methods.

The Study

As reported in Biospectrum Asia, the team will work to integrate the genomic alterations of 440 genes involved in cancer development, treatment response, drug resistance as well as the immune system using ACT Genomics’ flagship cancer gene panelist, ACTOnco®+, to undertake comprehensive genomic analyses. A key stakeholder, Director, Dr. Johji Inazawa, will provide formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples and clinical information as part of the TMDU Bioresource Research Center (BRC). ACT Genomics (CAP-accredited lab) and ACTmed (applying for CAP-accreditation) are driving the sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. The study will analyze and categorize genomic mutation patterns such as mutation, copy number variation (CNV), microsatellite instability (MSI), and tumor mutation burden (TMB) and integrate with clinicopathological information. The study team will capitalize on new generated data to support the identification of potential biomarkers for prognosis and predict treatment response.

The Research Sites

TMDU Medical Hospital and Dental Hospital, major health centers with over 500,000 patients per year. Established in 2013, TMDU BRC recruits and stores biospecimens and clinical data from consented patients of TMDU hospitals. The study directors have secured informed consent from 6,500 patients and over 15,000 high-quality biospecimens including everything from genomic DNA from peripheral blood or saliva, serum and fresh frozen tissue samples stored since 2019. The research site maintains an Electronic Medical Record System covering all of the detailed clinical information for samples. A sample system has been set up for distribution for research purposes to both internal and external researchers assuming appropriate IRB approval.


Here in Japan, the three-way collaboration will accelerate  local precision medicine services as well as support and catalyze multinational collaborations.

TMDU Biosource Research Center (BRC)

TMDU BRC represents the latest investment by Tokyo Medical and Dental University, part of Japan’s national university system.

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Johji Inazawa, Director


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