On Feb. 16, 2018, JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics (JCO CCI) published its first special collection of articles. This collection highlights ways in which sharing cancer research data is now possible through individual networks, including ASCO’s CancerLinQ®.
In his introduction to the collection, “Cancer Research Data Sharing Networks,” author Jack London, PhD, opens by noting, “Sharing of cancer research data has been the holy grail sought by those of us engaged in cancer biomedical informatics.”
To achieve this goal, London asserts that bringing together data currently siloed in different locations is crucial: “Data sharing between the various cancer research silos is seen as a way to make the research enterprise more efficient and increase the pace of discovery. The targeted therapies of the Precision Medicine era have further amplified the need for data sharing, as populations being studied become smaller and necessitate more inter-institutional collaborative studies.”
Breaking down silos of oncology information is one of the goals of ASCO’s CancerLinQ® big data platform, which is examined in an invited review, “CancerLinQ: Origins, Implementation, and Future Directions,” by Samuel M. Rubinstein, MD, and Jeremy Warner, MD, MS, JCO CCI associate editor. The article reviews the rational for developing an oncology rapid learning system, describes CancerLinQ’s development, and examines the challenges facing these systems.
The other pieces in the “Data Management” special collection are:
- “Realizing the Promise of Cognitive Computing in Cancer Care: Ushering in a New Era,” which discusses the challenges in sifting through collected large volumes of data for meaningful insights.
- “Status of Lung Cancer Data Collection in Europe,” which argues for creating a Pan-European Lung Cancer minimum dataset to facilitate comparing clinical practice and health care systems across various European countries.
“An Architecture for Translational Cancer Research as Exemplified by the German Cancer Consortium,” which discusses the idea of networking medical institutions with a common data infrastructure, as well as the challenges of setting up such a platform.
- “Using A Federated Network of Real-World Data to Optimize Clinical Trials Operations,” which outlines one company’s efforts in facilitating data-driven clinical research study design to reduce accrual failure and protocol amendments.
- “American Association for Cancer Research Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange: From Inception to First Data Release and Beyond—Lessons Learned and Member Institutions’ Perspectives,” which reviews the project’s history, operational structure, and lessons learned and shares institutional perspectives on participation in the data-sharing consortium.
JCO CCI was created with the objective of bringing people together to help realize the promise of informatics, so this special collection is one action for this larger mission. The goal for the collection was to initiate and provide a forum for a discussion about these networks, raise awareness of various opportunities among professionals in the cancer informatics field, and—hopefully—integrate efforts to achieve efficient sharing of cancer research data.
Read the full collection of articles.