CSSIMMW Announces Milestone Publication of Nation's First Standardized Genomic-Clinical Database, Correlating TCGA Molecular Signatures with Clinical End Points of 11,000 Patients Across 33 Cancer Types

Posted: 4/5/2018
The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber (CSS Institute), a non-profit biomedical research institute, today announced findings from the first-ever comprehensive effort to systematically process, analyze and evaluate The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) clinical data and provide the clinical significance of molecular markers relative to outcomes and survival of the patients. This analysis was performed in more than 11,000 patients across 33 cancer types. With the completion of the TCGA, question remained unanswered about the quality and value of the clinical data relating to the outcomes. These questions have now been answered with this publication of the TCGA Pan-Cancer Clinical Data Resource developed by the scientists at Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber in collaboration with multiple clinical and research institutions.

Results from this effort, published online today in Cell, demonstrated the validity and utility of TCGA clinical data to support clinical and translational studies using TCGA molecular data. The paper entitled “An Integrated TCGA Pan-Cancer Clinical Data Resource to drive high quality survival outcome analytics”, will provide new opportunities for investigating cancer biology using clinical correlates at an unprecedented scale.

Researchers assembled and integrated data from 130 clinical data files, reviewing and analyzing dozens of different data elements important to cancer research. Researchers then derived data for four commonly-used clinical outcome endpoints for all 11,160 patients included in TCGA. Based on these results, the authors developed endpoint- and tumor type-specific recommendations that could allow investigators to test the clinical significance of specific molecular markers under evaluation.

“TCGA collected and generated an unprecedented set of clinical pathologic and molecular data, but there were unanswered questions about the value and significance of its clinical data and how it might be used,” said Jianfang Liu, the first author of the study and a senior statistical analyst at the CSS Institute. “Results from this study have helped expand our knowledge of this data across cancer types and will prove valuable to future clinical and translational research.”

“I am very grateful to the outstanding teamwork of all the co-authors of this study that brought in complementary multidisciplinary domain expertise, which enabled conduction of multiple validation and application analyses using the recommended clinical outcome endpoints,” said Hai Hu, PhD, corresponding author of the study and Vice President for Research at the CSS Institute. “TCGA-CDR has added immense value to the molecular data generated from The Cancer Genome Atlas and offers new opportunities to produce biological insights at unprecedented clinical scale that could be applicable across a variety of cancer types.”

“The understanding of the molecular profile relative to clinical outcomes is invaluable to clinical scientists pursuing next generation treatment for patients suffering from cancer. We are proud to support this important new resource and to make this resource available to scientists and biologists around the world who are striving to unravel the molecular drivers of cancer,” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman of Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation.

This study was published online today and will be included in the April 5, 2018 print issue of Cell.

Multiple contributors to the study include Tara Lichtenberg who worked for the TCGA Biospecimen Core Resource at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Katherine A. Hoadley, PhD of University of North Carolina; Laila M. Poisson, PhD, of Henry Ford Health System; Alexander J. Lazar, MD, of MD Anderson, Andrew D. Cherniack, PhD of Broad Institute; Christopher C. Benz, MD, of Buck Institute for Research on Aging; Douglas A. Levine, MD of New York University; Adrian V. Lee, MD of University of Pittsburgh Women’s Cancer Research Center; Larsson Omberg, PhD, of Sage Bionetworks; Denise M. Wolf, PhD, of University of California, San Francisco, and Vesteinn Thorsson, PhD, of Institute for Systems Biology. This paper is part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Program, a joint effort of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

About Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber (CSS Institute)
CSS Institute is a private, non-profit biomedical research institute established in 2000, as the Windber Research Institute, with a mission to improve patients’ care through research. Initially focusing on translational research of breast cancers, we have since expanded to study other cancer types. Our research is supported by a robust Biorepository and a Biomedical Informatics Program. The Biorepository manages the collection, processing, storage, and distribution of a variety of biospecimens for research. The Biomedical Informatics Program develops and provides application systems for the tracking and warehousing of data making them available for integrated data analysis, which is also conducted at the Institute. Translational Research at the Institute has strong clinical input from our clinical partners. Research is conducted both internally and in collaboration with a number of leading research organizations. For more information visit: www.wriwindber.org

Pictured below: Tom Kurtz presents an award to two staff members who authored, with other collaborators, a paper that has been published in Cell, a prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journal. Left to Right: Jianfang Liu, the first author of the study and a senior statistical analyst at CSSIMMW; Hai Hu, PhD, corresponding author of the study and Vice President for Research CSSIMMW; Tom Kurtz, President of CSSIMMW.
Tags: Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber  Cancer Research