NF Research Initiative

GeM Consortium

Genomics of MPNSTs

The NF Research Initiative at Boston Children's Hospital seeks to transform therapeutic development of NF-1 related Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors (MPNST) through international collaboration to improve the biological understanding of tumor progression in this disorder.

GeM Consortium Objectives:

  • Collect >100 NF1-related and/or sporadic MPNST tumors and paired normal tissue/blood from participants consented for whole genome sequencing and specimen/data sharing

  • Display clinical and genomic data across all samples in a cloud-based data exchange to facilitate pre-clinical research directed at identifying therapeutic targets for this tumor type

Partnership with the Park Lab at Harvard Medical School

The Genomics of MPNST (GeM) Consortium aims to advance preclinical research on targeted therapeutics for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), a rare cancer in patients with Neurofibromatosis (NF), through international collaboration and data sharing. To do so, we are building a controlled-access, cloud-based GeM Database, hosted by the Park Lab at Harvard Medical School. This data repository will host de-identified clinical and genetic data gathered from GeM collaborators, generated through comprehensive molecular analysis of tumor specimens, and produced through NFRI-funded research projects.

  • Dr. Park is an expert on genomic analysis related to cancer. Dr. Isidro Ciriano-Cortes, a former postdoc in the Park Lab, will be working with Dr. Park to conduct a genomic landscape analysis using whole genome sequencing and RNA sequencing data from MPNST specimen analyzed by the GeM Consortium.

  • The Park Lab has developed and hosted a database for the Pan-cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) project that is similar in scope to the one envisioned for GeM. Dr. Park has agreed to construct the GeM Database to support data sharing and collaboration in the consortium and create an ongoing resource for future MPNST research.

An article titled “The Cancer Genome Atlas Pan-Cancer analysis project “ (Nature Genetics,2013), on which Dr. Park is a contributing author, describes this research initiative and the methods of comparison between tumor types profiled by The Cancer Genome Atlas. [Link to a PDF of the article here]