Cancer Data Science Pulse

Your Guide to NCI Data Science Resources for Childhood Cancer Research

As we recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September, we highlight the data sets, data science tools, and resources available to aid cancer researchers in their work. We hope you find this data science quick start guide useful in your study to better understand the causes of pediatric cancer, improve treatment, and enhance the lifelong well-being of survivors.

Find Data Sets to Support Your Childhood Cancer Research

For more data sets, check out the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative’s (CCDI's) Childhood Cancer Data Catalog, which supplies more than 275,000 of both NCI and non-NCI-funded data.

Get Tools You Can Use

open book icon Download Pediatric Terminology files if you’re having trouble understanding any terms related to pediatrics.
compare files icon

Compare childhood data sets with tabular and graphic visualizations of genomic data through the Molecular Targets Platform.

people network icon Enable predictive modeling through the Human Tumor Atlas Network. The network generates atlases representing a diverse population of people with cancer, including the Center for Pediatric Tumor Cell Atlas.
cloud icon Eliminate the need to download and store pediatric data sets by using the NCI Cloud Resources. You can also get access to on-demand computational capacity to analyze the data.

Keep Up with NCI’s Data Science Contributions to Childhood Cancer Research

Subscribe to receive weekly NCI Data Science updates in your inbox, including upcoming events, the latest blog posts, and recent news releases.

CCDI Helps to Fund Sharing of Large-Scale Childhood Cancer Data Sets

  • Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute shared Acute Myeloid Leukemia data sets that now include pediatric and AYA data. CCDI played an important role in supporting the data-sharing process.

New Optimized Workflow Offers Comprehensive Characterization of Childhood Cancers

  • Using an end-to-end pipeline for cancer whole genome and transcriptome sequencing (a promising tool for routine clinical oncology practice for pediatric patients), scientists analyzed samples from 114 pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients.

New Data Now Available for Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia

  • The Childhood Cancer Data Initiative funding facilitated the sharing of Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia data for researchers.

NCI Launches Molecular Characterization Initiative for Childhood Cancer Research

  • This year, NCI launched the Molecular Characterization Initiative, which offers biomarker testing to children and AYAs with newly diagnosed central nervous system tumors.

Hear From Kids First Investigators and Data Experts

  • NCI’s Office of Data Sharing supports the Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program. Watch the on-demand recording of their 2022 spring webinar, which discusses the relationship between birth defects and cancer risk, collaborative developments in pediatric cancer research, and the latest technologies in data research.

Read a CBIIT SpotlightJoseph Flores-Toro

“We can collectively learn from every child with cancer…”    

Joseph Flores-Toro, Ph.D., joined the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology’s Office of Data Sharing as a fellow but became a health scientist administrator. In a blog post focusing on Dr. Flores-Toro’s journey to NCI, he shares how he turned his life’s passion into purposeful work to improve childhood cancer research.

Many pediatric and young adult cancers are different from cancers in adults, and as a result, it is difficult to understand which treatments and diagnosis methods are best for patients in this age group.

“By and large, the pediatric cancer community has done a good job sharing data whenever feasible,” says Dr. Flores-Toro in a recent interview. “NCI-funded efforts help researchers and physicians overcome barriers to data sharing through CCDI. They are bringing together resources and making them more accessible and useable to the broader community.”

“For a group of people who have had to face down cancer in themselves or their siblings so early in life, they remain some of the most positive, driven, and caring people I have ever been around. They are truly the best of us all, a gold star of humanity that deserves our full efforts and resources to ensure they have the best possible outcomes.”

In 1997, gold became the color used to represent adolescents battling cancer. “The color gold represents the heart and resilience of these incredible kids,” he adds.

While data sharing is one piece in the effort to further childhood cancer research, it’s important to remember that a tiny piece of gold can go a long way.

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Breaking Down Barriers to Sharing Cancer Data—The NIH Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative
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