Cancer Data Science Pulse

Genomics

“Count Me In” (CMI) is a unique project that gives patients an opportunity to share their cancer-related data directly with scientists. According to Corrie Painter, associate director of CMI, this is a largely untapped but vital part of data science. Here she describes the project and what it could mean for future research efforts.

The explosion of genetic information and direct access to large-scale genomic data not only opens up new areas for exploring today's most pressing research questions, it also serves as a reminder of the importance of collaboration at every stage of the study. NCI’s Dr. Daoud Meerzaman describes a new "circular" way of collaborating that keeps everyone in the loop when devising new genomics studies.

Dr. Jaime M. Guidry Auvil serves as the director of the newly-launched NCI Office of Data Sharing (ODS). Headquartered at the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, ODS is creating a comprehensive data sharing vision and strategy for NCI and the cancer research community.

One of the most exciting developments of the past decade has been the success of methods broadly described as deep learning. While the roots of deep learning date back to early machine learning research of the 1950s, recent improvements in specialized computing hardware and the availability of labeled data have led to significant advances and have shattered performance benchmarks in tasks like image classification and language processing.

This blog post, the fifth, concludes our series that discusses the principles underlying the collaborative project "Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C)."

In 2016, a Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) was established, as part of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot, to make key recommendations that would support the Moonshot goals of accelerating progress in cancer research and breaking down barriers to developing new treatments.

In the past year, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in radiology, also called "radiomics," has been getting a lot of attention, mainly because of the progress Deep Learning (DL) has made from a sub-human performance to performance that is similar, or in some cases superior, to that of humans.

Now is the time for researchers across domains to ideate together, share data, and maximize the utility of those data. This is "the urgency of now" according to former Vice President Joe Biden, who delivered the keynote address to those in attendance at the September 2017 Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) Annual World Congress.

I recently joined NCI to help support strategic data sharing and informatics projects within the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT). Having worked on information management at another Institute for five years and the trans-NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative since its inception, this is an exciting opportunity for me to continue to contribute to enhancing data science across the biomedical community.

In recent years, genomics has been described as a big data science on par with the likes of Twitter, YouTube, and the scientific pursuit of understanding the universe.