NIH News Release
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Cancer Institute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Contact: NCI Press Office
(301) 496-6641

NCI Assists Establishment of DNA Microarray Facilities

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced today that it will spend $4.1 million to help 24 cancer research centers throughout the country purchase equipment needed to launch DNA microarray facilities. DNA microarray technology is a powerful, but technically challenging, new research tool that allows scientists to assess the level of expression of a large subset of the 100,000 human genes in a cell or tissue.

The new facilities will offer state-of-the-art technological support to scientists who study the molecular causes of cancer. They also will help to ensure that this important new technology is broadly available to the cancer research community, and that the technology's tremendous potential is rapidly realized by ensuring that it is applied to a broad spectrum of critical problems in cancer research.

"This technology can quickly produce a snapshot of the genes that are active in a tumor cell, critical information in narrowing down the precise molecular causes of a cancer," said Richard Klausner, M.D., NCI director. "It is absolutely imperative that cancer researchers have open access to this technology, and the NCI-supported facilities help to ensure that this is the case."

Klausner said the microarray centers also will support the work of scientists involved in a new NCI initiative entitled, "The Director's Challenge: Toward a Molecular Classification of Tumors." The five-year initiative aims for the first time to define tumor cells based on their unique molecular changes, information that promises to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The sites of the 24 DNA microarray facilities are: Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, Ariz.; The Burnham Institute in La Jolla, Calif.; Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston; Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia; H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Research in Cambridge, Mass.; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, Minn.; M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas; Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.; University of California at Irvine; University of California at San Francisco; University of Chicago Cancer Research Center; University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver; University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.; University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; University of Texas, Medicine Branch at Galveston; University of Virginia Cancer Center in Charlottesville, N.C.; Vanderbilt Cancer Center in Nashville, Tenn.; and Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Conn.

For more information about cancer visit NCI's Web site for patients, public, and the mass media at http://www.nci.nih.gov.