Regular readers may remember that last July we launched two pioneering projects to hunt down the key genetic faults that drive prostate and oesophageal cancers as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC).

After a successful pilot phase to check that everything was working properly, the scientists are now ploughing ahead with ‘reading’ (sequencing) the genetic code in hundreds of samples of tumour and healthy tissue from patients with oesophageal or prostate cancer. Ultimately, this knowledge will help researchers to understand the gene faults that drive these diseases, and will underpin the development of more effective treatments in the future.

To find out a bit more about what’s involved in ICGC we’ve made this short film featuring the research teams at the University of Cambridge and The Institute of Cancer Research, as well as Illumina – the company providing the cutting edge technology that will allow our researchers to read all these genes.

This ambitious project wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our supporters, including two new fundraising initiatives – the Catalyst Club and the Dallaglio Foundation.