Breakthrough Breast Cancer has today launched the world’s most comprehensive breast cancer database – bringing scientific research and clinical data together in one place.
The Rock database is a free resource which allows scientists easy access to an enormous amount of published data on breast cancer. It can be used to generate detailed computer models, which will help refine laboratory experiments. Scientists will be able to look at the complex interactions of all the genes and proteins involved in breast cancer – and avoid duplication of research.
Professor Alan Ashworth, Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, said: “The Rock database is a smart new system which will help scientists turn their discoveries into benefits for patients much more quickly. It is an exceptionally useful resource for all breast cancer scientists and will allow us to understand more about this complex disease.”
The database – found at http://www.rock.icr.ac.uk – is expected to be visited more than 4,000 times each day by cancer scientists around the world, including the 120 scientists working at the Breakthrough Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research in west London.
A new system is needed because the sequencing of the human genome and recent technological advances mean far more data is being collected on a scale never seen before. The database collects, stores and analyses that information efficiently.
Dr Marketa Zvelebil, who led the design of the database at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, said: “One of the benefits of Rock being a free database is that it will support international breast cancer research. We hope it will help illuminate how drugs should be targeted to treat, and ultimately prevent, a disease which affects nearly 46,000 women in the UK each year.”
Breakthrough Breast Cancer:
– The development of the Rock database was led by Dr Marketa Zvelebil, Team Leader of the Bioinformatics team at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research
– The database can be accessed at http://www.rock.icr.ac.uk
– Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity committed to fighting breast cancer through research, campaigning and education. In 1999 Breakthrough established the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre. The Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre is housed in the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green building at The Institute of Cancer Research in association with the Royal Marsden Hospital.
– Under the directorship of Professor Alan Ashworth FRS, the Breakthrough Research Centre now has 120 world-class scientists and clinicians tackling breast cancer from all angles – from understanding the normal growth and development of the breast, how breast cancer arises and how the cancer spreads, to treatment and ultimately disease prevention. Scientists at the Breakthrough Research Centre have a range of expertise and approaches and together they are working towards a common goal: a future free from the fear of breast cancer.
– Breakthrough has opened new research units in Edinburgh and London in the past year with a third to open in Manchester in 2009.