TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), today announced that the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) has partnered with Annai Systems Inc. to have the company host data from more than 10,000 human cancer genomes. This arrangement will allow more researchers to access and analyze the valuable information contained in the ICGC's datasets to find mutations related to cancer.
"The data produced by the ICGC is one of the best resources for scientists to use in their search for the causes of and potential cures for cancer. However, the staggering size of the datasets makes it challenging for many researchers to use them in their studies," explains Hudson. "Working with Annai will allow us to overcome this technical barrier and increase the number of research teams using this valuable resource."
The ICGC data will be made available on Annai Systems' cloud-based ShareSeq platform. Researchers can currently access interpreted, annotated results from the ICGC Data Portal, but to make new discoveries with the genomic information they need to download the raw data. These huge datasets can take months to download and often cannot be analyzed by a single group's computing systems.
Putting the ICGC dataset on ShareSeq overcomes this hurdle by allowing users to work with the data in the cloud. Researchers will be able to access high performance computing, the necessary storage capacity, expert bioinformatics support and other resources through ShareSeq.
"By hosting our data on the ShareSeq platform we will eliminate many of the limitations to working with datasets this large," says Dr. Lincoln Stein, Program Director of OICR's Informatics and Bio-computing Program and Director of the ICGC's Data Coordination Centre. "What this really does is liberate the data and allows researchers at institutions large and small to add to our collective understanding of cancer at the genomic level and move the science forward."
"Providing more researchers from around the world with access to genome data is a great leap forward in cancer research and brings us closer to our ultimate goal of finding a cure for cancer. I congratulate OICR on its instrumental role in the ongoing successful development of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC)," says Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation.
An additional feature will soon be added to ShareSeq that will allow researchers to combine their own data and other datasets with the ICGC data, making it an even more powerful tool.
OICR is an innovative cancer research and development institute dedicated to prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, supported by the Government of Ontario. OICR's research programs provided support to more than 1,700 investigators, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario. OICR has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing. For more information, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.
About the International Cancer Genome Consortium
The ICGC, comprised of research organizations around the world, is committed to making data rapidly and freely available. Cancer genome data are available on more than 10,000 tumors through an Internet portal at www.icgc.org. Each ICGC member project is conducting a comprehensive, high-resolution analysis of the full range of genomic changes in at least one specific type or subtype of cancer, with studies built around common standards of data collection and analysis.
Currently, the ICGC has received commitments from funding organizations in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America for 78 project teams in 17 jurisdictions to study over 25,000 tumor genomes. Projects that are currently funded are examining tumors affecting: the biliary tract, bladder, blood, bone, brain, breast, cervix, colon, eye, head and neck, kidney, liver, lung, nasopharynx, oral cavity, ovary, pancreas, prostate, rectum, skin, soft tissues, stomach, thyroid and uterus.
The genomic analyses of tumors conducted by ICGC members in Australia (ovarian and pancreatic cancer), Canada (pancreatic and prostate cancer), China (kidney cancer), France (liver and kidney cancer), Germany (blood, brain and prostate cancer), India (oral cancer), Japan (liver cancer), Saudi Arabia (thyroid cancer), Spain (blood cancer), the UK (blood, bone, breast, and esophageal cancer) and the USA (bladder, blood, brain, breast, cervical, colon, head and neck, kidney, liver, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, skin, stomach, thyroid and uterine cancer) are now available through the Data Coordination Center housed on the ICGC website at www.icgc.org.
SOURCE: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
For further information: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research: Christopher Needles, Manager, Strategic Communications, Email: [email protected], Telephone: 416-673-8505, Mobile: 416-319-5252, @OICR_news