News

Keep up with the latest news from the NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) and the data science communities.

With funding from NCI’s Childhood Cancer Data Initiative, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute have shared new data from pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

NIH has issued a request for public comments on draft supplemental information to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing. Responses will be accepted through June 27, 2022.

Genomic studies of childhood and rare cancers got a major boost, as a new optimized workflow for managing these data was recently reported in Nature Communications. And, thanks to funding by NCI’s Childhood Cancer Data Initiative, it’s easier and faster to share those data with the cancer research community.

In this JAMA Oncology Viewpoint opinion article, Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, NCI’s associate director for Informatics and Data Science, discusses NCI’s large-scale data sharing and access efforts. She also stresses that as we continue to generate cancer data, free and open scientific data should be treated as a public good.

NCI has just launched the Molecular Characterization Initiative, fostering data sharing in childhood cancer research. This program offers tumor molecular characterization to children, adolescents, and young adults who have been diagnosed with central nervous system tumors and are being treated at hospitals affiliated with an NCI-supported clinical trials group, “Children’s Oncology Group.” The DNA and RNA in participants' tumors are analyzed through this voluntary, free program. Once data is available, cancer researchers will be able to access the data via the Cancer Research Data Commons.

CBIIT Director, Dr. Tony Kerlavage, sat down recently for a podcast examining the evolution of NCI’s Data Commons. He tracked the development of the Cancer Research Data Commons, from its early pilots to today’s cloud-based infrastructure, with repositories of diverse data and more than 1,000 tools and resources.

NIH needs input on potential updates to the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy! As a researcher or data scientist, share your perspective related to cancer genomic data to help the policy keep pace with evolving scientific opportunities and stakeholder expectations. Responses to the Request for Information will be accepted through February 28, 2022.

In a recent podcast, NCI leaders from CBIIT and the Small Business Innovation Research Development Center shared how technological developments have enhanced cancer research and have helped usher in new diagnostics, treatments, and patient care.

Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, CBIIT’s associate director of Informatics and Data Science and DCEG senior investigator, together with research colleagues, used a direct data matching approach to compare brain tumors in U.S. Veteran and non-Veteran populations. The study indicates that direct and deterministic data matching approaches have the potential to compare the distribution of tumors, treatment trajectories, and clinical outcomes of other cancers and rare diseases among these populations.

CBIIT Director, Dr. Tony Kerlavage, along with NCI staff and a host of experts in childhood cancer research, recently published an article, “Cancer Informatics for Cancer Centers (CI4CC): Scientific Drivers for Informatics, Data Science, and Care in Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer,” in JCO Cancer Clinical Informatics. The article summarizes the Fall 2020 CI4CC Symposium and showcases the scope of initiatives underway to address childhood cancer, with a particular emphasis on how data science and informatics are helping to support these initiatives.