The eDyNAmiC team is supported through the Cancer Grand Challenges initiative. Learn more here

eDyNAmiC : extrachromosomal DNA in Cancer

Understanding the biology of extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) generation and action and developing new ways to target these mechanisms in cancer.

Human genes are arranged on 23 pairs of chromosomes. However, in cancer, tumour-promoting genes can break away from chromosomes and move to circular extrachromosomal pieces of DNA called ecDNA. These ecDNAs do not follow the usual “rules” of inheritance during cell division. Instead, they allow tumours to produce more cancer-causing genes and enable cancers to change and evolve their genomes to resist treatment. The altered circular structure of ecDNA also changes the way genes are regulated and expressed in cancer cells, contributing to aggressive tumor growth.

ecDNA poses one of the greatest challenges for cancer patients. It affects children and adults, women and men with many of the most aggressive forms of cancer. It’s present in most solid tumors, including glioblastoma, medulloblastoma, sarcoma, and cancers of various organs. ecDNA can emerge early during cancer formation or later in the disease progression.

Team eDyNAmiC is committed to finding new and better ways to diagnose and treat patients with ecDNA-containing cancers. We are a pioneering interdisciplinary global team of cancer biologists, geneticists, computer scientists, evolutionary biologists, mathematicians, immunobiologists, chemists, clinicians, and patient advocates. We endeavor to develop novel insights and transformative solutions to one of Cancer’s Grandest Challenges.

Patient Advocates

Patient Advocates are integral to the success of Team eDyNAmiC. They are embedded in each of the work packages and are partners in the design and implementation of the science. They are subject matter experts who are connected to their local communities and who bring and share their lived experiences with scientific investigators.

What’s New

Our Funders

eDyNAmiC is a Cancer Grand Challenges team funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute.

Team Member Host Institutions