Joe Biden announces launch of open-access genomic database for cancer research

On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden visited the University of Chicago to announce the launch of the National Cancer Institute's Genomic Data Commons — a unified database that promotes sharing of genomic and clinical data between researchers — as a part of the Cancer Moonshot unveiled by President Barack Obama in his 2016 State of the Union Address.

"This is good news in the fight against cancer. With the launch of this new national resource, anyone can freely access raw genomic and clinical data for 12,000 patients — with more records to follow. Increasing the pool of researchers who can access data and decreasing the time it takes for them to review and find new patterns in that data is critical to speeding up development of lifesaving treatments for patients," said Mr. Biden.

The GDC will be managed by the University of Chicago Center for Data Intensive Science in collaboration with the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, under contract with the NCI. Researchers utilizing the tool will be able to integrate genetic and clinical data in order to facilitate more effective and expedited cancer treatments.

NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy, MD, said, "Importantly, the explanatory power of data in the GDC will grow over time as data from more patients are included, and ultimately the GDC will accelerate our efforts in precision medicine."

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