What is the Atlas?

Cancer Genetics, a fast developping field, merits more than 200,000 pages

Cancer, the second cause of death in the developed countries, is the first cause of untimely death. Prognosis of a leukaemia, for instance, depends on the genes involved... However, about 4,500 genes are possibly implicated in cancer! Therefore, there is a need for huge databases collecting and summarising the fast growing knowledge accumulated in cancer genetics (see, for more details: Why the Atlas?).

The Atlas is a peer-reviewed journal / encyclopaedia / internet database aimed at genes involved in cancer, cytogenetics and leukemias, solid tumours, and cancer-prone diseases. It also comprises educational items in genetics for students.

Structure of the Atlas

The Atlas is mainly made of structured review articles or "cards" (see above), but it also contains traditional overviews, a huge portal towards websites and databases devoted to cancer and/or genetics, case reports in haematology, and, as we have said, teaching items in various languages.

Cards are structured: e.g. cards on genes are made of the following paragraphs:
1- identity
3- protein
4- diseases where the gene is involved
5- external links
6- bibliography.

Deep Insights: these review articles are more traditional papers; they often deal with various themes at the outskirts of our core topic.

Portal: it comprises about 275 links:
1- general links (bibliography, general resources)
2- databases in genetics
3- resources in cancer genetics and cytogenetics
4- mapping resources
5- chromosomes maps (mouse, man)
6- functional genomic, transcriptome
7- journals.

A collective effort

The Atlas is a collective effort from researchers and clinicians to give the state of the art in cancer genetics to the medical and scientific community, to provide a cognitive tool for fundamental and clinical research. Readers of the Atlas are consultants at the hospital, researchers, university teachers, but it also reaches GP's, students in medicine, and students in sciences.

The genome project

The Atlas is part of the genome project and it participates in research on cancer epidemiology. It is at the crossroads of research, university and post-university teaching (e-learning, virtual medical university) and telemedicine, using new information and communication technologies. It contributes to meta-medicine, this mediation between the overflowing information provided by the scientific community and the individual practitioner. It helps the clinician in therapy decision. Its reputation is international.

The Atlas is free, in particular for third world countries.


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