September Update: Mapping Cancer Markers

Mapping Cancer Markers currently has a healthy backlog of work for volunteers, with more expected to come.

The illustration above (from a past project update) depicts proteins grouped by similar interactions and similar biological functions.

The highly interconnected human protein-protein interaction network enables the researchers to see how individual proteins perform diverse molecular functions, and together contribute to a specific biological process. Many of these interactions change between healthy and disease states, which in turn affects the functions these proteins carry.

By analyzing data, the Mapping Cancer Markers researchers aim to build models of these processes that in turn could be used to design new therapeutic approaches.


Mapping Cancer Markers aims to identify the markers associated with various types of cancer. The project is analyzing millions of data points collected from thousands of healthy and cancerous patient tissue samples. These include tissues with lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and sarcoma.

By comparing these different data points, researchers hope to identify patterns of markers for different cancers and correlate them with different outcomes, including responsiveness to various treatment options.

Lung cancer markers

As mentioned in last month's update, the researchers are begining to work with some of their clinician colleagues to get input on the significance of some of the project's findings about lung cancer markers. This process is ongoing, and could take many months. 

Once the research team has finished conferring with their colleagues, they'll incorporate their feedback into a research paper.

Beta testing on new sarcoma work units

The World Community Grid tech team is hoping to run another beta test for new sarcoma work units. Once this beta test is ready, we'll post a notice in our Beta Test Announcements forum so that interested volunteers can participate. Volunteers can check your settings here to see if you're signed up for beta testing.

Current status of work units

  • Available for download: 844  batches
  • In progress:  889 batches (7,152,542 work units)
  • Completed:   65,645 batches
                          749 batches in the last 30 days
                         Average of 25 batches per day
  • Estimated backlog: 33 days


Click here to learn more about World Community Grid's monthly project updates.