AACR launches data-sharing project for cancer genomic research

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has launched an international genomic and clinical data-sharing project called GENIE (Genomics, Evidence, Neoplasia, Information, Exchange).

It will be multiphase, multiyear project that will provide the "critical mass" of genomic and clinical data required to improve clinical decision-making and spur new research, according to an infographic.

AARC's U.S. partners include cancer centers at Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt universities, as well as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

GENIE will aggregate data from its Phase 1 partners into a single registry and link it to select clinical outcomes. All project data ultimately will be made public after defined periods of project exclusivity. It will release its first data set on Nov. 6, 2016, according to an announcement.

The GENIE registry already has more than 17,000 genomic records, largely focused on late-stage cancers and containing only clinical-grade sequencing data on which clinical decisions have been made.

This tool can be used in myriad ways including identifying new patient populations for existing drugs; expanding patient populations that will benefit from current drugs; and identifying new drug targets and biomarkers.

During the summer, researchers from Canada, Europe and the United States called on major funding agencies to set up a global genomic data repository in the cloud.

Two Stanford University researchers, concerned that patients can be re-identified from genomic data, recently published suggestions for better protecting patient data while making genomic data-sharing easier for researchers.

To learn more:
- check out the infographic
- read the announcement