Healthcare Analytics, Population Health Management, Healthcare Big Data

Precision Medicine News

Precision Medicine, Genomics Partnership Boosts Big Data Sharing

As part of a precision medicine partnership with the National Cancer Institute, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation will become the first nonprofit to donate genomic and clinical data to the Genomic Data Commons.

By Nathan Boroyan

- The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation will contribute genomic and clinical data to the Genomic Data Commons, one of the National Cancer Institute’s centerpiece precision medicine projects, the organizations announced last week.

Precision medicine and genomic partnership

The Genomic Data Commons allows researchers to submit genetic and clinical cancer data that may facilitate comparative research projects or other initiatives to advance the Precision Medicine Initiative.

Located at the University of Chicago, the GDC is also the hub of all necessary data for Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot initiative and one of the key accomplishments of the Obama Administration's big data efforts.

“Data sharing is essential to advancing cancer research, and I cannot overstate the value of the data that MMRF is providing — not only genomic data but also full clinical data as well,” said Dr. Doug Lowy, NCI acting director. “Combining genomic and clinical information will create an invaluable resource for all researchers worldwide studying this disease who are working toward new, more effective treatments.”

Though multiple myeloma is the second most common type of blood cancer, it has been challenging for researchers to get their hands on actionable amounts of the disease's genomic data, said partnership leaders.

“The GDC gains power with each new submission, and the contribution of MMRF data will enable the discovery of potentially actionable and life-changing insights into multiple myeloma and its response to therapy that could be used by cancer researchers, doctors, and patients,” said Dr. Louis Staudt, director of NCI's Center for Cancer Genomics.

The MMRF will contribute information from its newest genomic s CoMMpass study, which includes over 1,150 patients and is the largest genomic and clinical study of multiple myeloma.

A significant aspect of MMRF's study is that roughly 18 percent of enrolled patients are African-American. According to the organization, Multiple Myeloma occurs about twice as often in African-Americans compared to whites.

CoMMpass patients will receive repeat biopsy and new genomic analysis at each six-month checkup and/or disease progress over the course of the next eight or more years. Tumor samples are also being collected and analyzed when a relapse occurs.

The MMRF anticipates that analyses of nearly 1,000 cases will be deposited to the GDC by spring 2017. The organization will donate new data at least every six months.

Data will also be shared from the MMRF's 204-patient Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative, which produce the first whole genomic sequencing of the Myeloma genome.

"GDC’s visualization tools and browsing capabilities will make the MMRF myeloma data more accessible and could help jumpstart research into this cancer," Staudt said.


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