Michigan Oncology Sequencing Center (MI-ONCOSEQ)

Research Type: 
Cancer Genomics


Recent advances have provided the possibility of incorporating genetic sequencing into clinical oncology. For many patients with advanced cancer, either the standard of care is ineffective or no standard of care therapy exists. In such cases, patients often pursue clinical trials; however, there are no standard means to assess which therapy will work over another. Genetic sequencing of tumors from such patients could inform choices regarding clinical trials or targeted therapy based on the molecular characteristics of the cancer. However, little is known about how patients and clinicians will respond to the use of genetic sequencing in clinical oncology. Therefore, experts from the University of Michigan in clinical oncology, clinical genetics, genomic science, bioinformatics, clinical pathology, social and behavioral sciences, and bioethics have joined together to address the potential for individual cancer care through the Michigan Oncology Sequencing Center (MI-ONCOSEQ) research study.

MI-ONCOSEQ consists of three integrated projects:
Project 1 (Clinical Genomics) integrates somatic and germline sequencing into the clinical practice of oncology; Project 2 (Sequencing Informatics) processes biospecimens and performs integrative sequencing and analysis of tumors and Project 3 (Bioethics) examines the psychosocial and ethical issues expected to arise from identification and disclosure of genomic results to patients and clinicians

Study Aims

The Bioethics component of the project evaluates the clinician and patient response to the informed consent process, delivery of genomic sequence results, and use of genomic results in the clinical management of patients with cancer. In an effort to develop ethically sound guidelines, and policies towards cancer genomic sequencing disclosure, the study addresses questions such as: What do cancer patients and clinicians want to know (or not know) from such test results? How do we determine what information is worth sharing? How do we communicate sequence information in a manner that patients and clinicians will readily understand and respond to? How do patients react to this information?

Funding Source

The MI-ONCOSEQ study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) program. Additional funding is provided by the Stand Up to Cancer-Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Prostate Dream Team Translational Cancer Research Grant and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Key Personnel

Project 1 & Project 2:

Project 3: