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The CCCR Biorepository, under the direction of Dr. David Reisman, collects biopsy specimens from patients undergoing surgery for cancer, and makes them available to researchers.  In an effort to take full advantage of the patient materials, the Biorepository has begun mutation profiling of DNA samples from colon tumors.  In concert with Selah Genomics in Greenville, SC, the project has employed their PrecisionPathTM Next-Gen DNA sequencing technology to generate profiles of over 2,000 genomic sites spanning 52 genes known to be associated with human cancer.  Preliminary analysis of the results indicates an average of 4 gene mutations per tumor.  The p53 tumor suppressor gene, known to be defective in many human cancers, was found to be mutated in 67% of the cases.  Members of the RAS and PIK3CA families of genes, important components of cell signaling, were defective in 60% and 50% of cases, respectively.  The APC gene, known to play a role in initiating colon cancer, was mutated in 33% of cases.  The characterization of colon tumor genes in this manner is import to the determination of the underlying genetic basis of these cancers, and will be of great value to researchers trying to understand how colon cancer develops and progresses.