In the largest genomic study ever targeting single-organ cancers, Japanese researchers have completed a whole-genome analysis of 300 liver cancer patients, discovering that liver cancer among Japanese can be broken down into six types.

The study, jointly carried out by a number of institutions including the National Cancer Center, the Riken research institute and the University of Tokyo, hopes to contribute to the development of new diagnostic methods and personalized drug therapies.

In a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Genetics, the researchers extracted DNA and RNA from blood samples of 300 liver cancer patients and put them through next-generation genome sequencers, identifying a wide variety of mutations that have taken place.