The Sweden Cancerome Analysis Network-Breast (SCAN-B) Initiative: a large-scale multicenter infrastructure towards implementation of breast cancer genomic analyses in the clinical routine


Breast cancer exhibits significant molecular, pathological, and clinical heterogeneity. Current clinicopathological evaluation is imperfect for predicting outcome, which results in overtreatment for many patients, and for others, leads to death from recurrent disease. Therefore, additional criteria are needed to better personalize care and maximize treatment effectiveness and survival. To address these challenges, the Sweden Cancerome Analysis Network - Breast (SCAN-B) consortium was initiated in 2010 as a multicenter prospective study with longsighted aims to analyze breast cancers with next-generation genomic technologies for translational research in a population-based manner and integrated with healthcare; decipher fundamental tumor biology from these analyses; utilize genomic data to develop and validate new clinically-actionable biomarker assays; and establish real-time clinical implementation of molecular diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tests. In the first phase, we focus on molecular profiling by next-generation RNA-sequencing on the Illumina platform. In the first 3 years from 30 August 2010 through 31 August 2013, we have consented and enrolled 3,979 patients with primary breast cancer at the seven hospital sites in South Sweden, representing approximately 85% of eligible patients in the catchment area. Preoperative blood samples have been collected for 3,942 (99%) patients and primary tumor specimens collected for 2,929 (74%) patients. Herein we describe the study infrastructure and protocols and present initial proof of concept results from prospective RNA sequencing including tumor molecular subtyping and detection of driver gene mutations. Prospective patient enrollment is ongoing.

Genome Medicine, 2015. 7(1):20
Christian Brueffer
Christian Brueffer
Bioinformatician and Data Scientist

Freelance Bioinformatician and Data Scientist with interests including disease biology and diagnostics, particularly in cancer, and open source bioinformatics.