Cancer Genomics in Korea

Frequently-occurred cancers in Korean

It was recently reported that cancer was the first cause of death of Korean (28.3 % of all deaths in 2009). The most frequently occurred cancers in Korean were gastric, thyroid, colon, breast, liver, lung, prostate, and so on. Following Figure illustrates portions of each cancer and annual frequency of cancer diagnosis in Korea. Among frequently-occrred cancers in Korean, lung or liver cancers have poor prognosis than other cancers. Thus, there is a great need for robust molecular diagnostic methods capable of exactly identifying cancer patients based on genomics and epigenomics.


Cancer research in Korean research groups

The National Cancer Center of Korea performed "10 years plan to to conquer cancer: the phase I study" from 1996 to 2005, and is carrying out "10 years plan to to conquer cancer: the phase II study" from 2006. Several cancer research centers in the universities received national funding for research and performed studies for frequently-occrred Korean cancers, however, most studies only collected and stored patient samples, or uncover simple characteristics of Korean cancers. Although many institutes holds huge biological samples more than 1,000 patients, most of them do not have proper statistical analysis power and there is severe lack of IT infra such as huge database management system, CPU clusters or cloud computing environments.

Deveolopment of methods of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment for Korean cancer patients only
Most treatment options for Korean cancer patients were mainly based on western population investigations. There are clear differences between Korean and non-Korean cancer patients genetically and epigenetically. Thus, it is very important to identify characteristics of Korean cancer patients only. KCGP has been launched for this objective.