Children's Hospital of Philadelphia launches precision medicine center

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) plans to bring precision medicine to young patients through its new Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine.

The new center initially will focus on childhood cancers, but later will branch out into other rare diseases, according to an announcement.

The center will take an open-source approach to the integration of complex genomic and clinical patient data, and develop open-access platforms that support collaboration. It plans to share information with researchers worldwide to develop precise, less toxic clinical treatments for children.

"One of our major goals is to prioritize connectivity and collaboration over ownership of information," Adam Resnick, Ph.D., an expert in brain tumors and founding director of the new center, says in the announcement.

The center's co-director, Phillip Storm, M.D., division chief of neurosurgery, pointed to the need to overcome territorial boundaries, scarce data and limited technological infrastructures to advance medical progress.

The center will build on CHOP's existing resources, such as its biospecimen and bioinformatics platforms (tumor and tissue samples, integrated with genomic sequencing data) and its tissue-based diagnostic program.

CHOP also is involved with the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium and the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium. Its National Pediatric Learning Health System is part of "network of networks" created by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

President Obama recently announced a "moonshot" initiative to find a cure for cancer, which will require new innovation and advances in health IT.

In addition, Phoenix Children's Hospital, with help from entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong's family foundation, means will give the hospital a dedicated supercomputer to offer genomic sequencing faster to treat disease more quickly and accurately.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement