Amplified and overexpressed genes in cancer (AOGIC)


Session type:

Daniel Brewer1, Thomas Santarius2, Janet Shipley1, Michael Stratton2, Colin Cooper1
1Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, United Kingdom,2The Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom


Integrated genome-wide screens of DNA copy number and gene expression in human cancers have accelerated the rate of discovery of amplified and overexpressed genes. However, the biological importance of most of the genes identified in such studies remains unclear.


We have proposed a weight-of-evidence based classification system for identifying individual genes in amplified regions that are selected for in an amplicon and so contribute to cancer development. The proposed classification scheme takes into account the complex and sometimes distinct datasets that are available for different amplicons in cancer. Genes are categorised into four classes (I–IV) based on the type of supporting data.


In a census of the published literature we have identified 77 genes for which there is good evidence of involvement in the development of human cancer1. The 77 genes were divided into three classes based on the weight of supporting evidence. We consider that for class II (12 genes), and class I (3 genes) the evidence is sufficiently strong to support a causal role in sporadic or familial cancer development. We have developed a website ( to disseminate these results.  We will continue to update this catalogue and release 2 will appear in Autumn 2010.


This weight-of-evidence based analysis is complementary to the previously published census of oncogenes in human cancer2. Linking newly generated datasets to supporting evidence using the criteria outlined in this analysis will aid in identifying new genes that contribute to cancer development.