ASCO update: Biden announces launch of cancer data-sharing system
- Vice President Joe Biden announced the launch of the Genomic Data Commons (GDC), part of the cancer moonshot initiative. It is designed to store, organize and make readily available massive amounts of genomic data for use in research and other relevant applications.
- The GDC will be housed at the University of Chicago will be open to researchers, clinicians and community oncologists.
- The GDC will be financed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with federal funding earmarked for the precision medicine initiative. Total GDC funding is $70 million.
The problem is not a lack of data. There are literally trillions of gigabytes of clinical data, including genomic data culled from rapid DNA-sequencing. There are already multiple databases that house cancer-related information, including the Cancer Genome Atlas and similar databases.
All of the data will be included in the GDC and organized via algorithms that leverage specific patterns and taxonomies. Already there is raw genomic and clinical data from 12,000 patients in the database---and lots more to come.
Given the focus on molecular characterization as the driver in increasingly efficient R&D processes, having data at one's fingertips could significantly shorten development timelines and expedite developments, approvals---and eventually more cures.
And the cost to researchers is absolutely nothing.