publication date: Jul. 29, 2016

Conversation with The Cancer Letter

Staudt: Foundation Medicine’s “Philanthropy of Data” More Than Doubles GDC Portfolio

Foundation Medicine approached NCI with the idea to make their data useful in the public domain.

“They had heard through a variety of mechanisms that we were doing the Genomic Data Commons, and they thought this was a good possible fit,” said Louis Staudt, director of the NCI Center for Cancer Genomics. “In the end, it did turn out to be good for both of us.”

Foundation donated the data from 18,000 de-identified cases, more than doubling the GDC’s total, up to 32,500.

“This is complete philanthropy of data. There is no quid pro quo,” said Staudt.

Staudt spoke with Matthew Ong, a reporter with The Cancer Letter.


Matthew Ong: What does the partnership with Foundation do for the Genomic Data Commons? What is unique about their dataset?

Louis Staudt: It is a really great expansion of the number of cases in the GDC—more than doubling—from 14,500; we’re adding 18,000 cases from Foundation. Many important cancer genes, up to 287, have been sequenced by Foundation in these cases.

We’ve known about many of these cancer genes for a long time, but I think the important point is that beyond the canonical known hotspot driver mutations that are in most patients, almost all of the cancer genes accumulate less common mutations that nonetheless could be important drivers of cancer.

Now, many of those might just be passenger or non-functional mutations, but if you get a large enough cohort and you see the same rare mutation occurring in multiple patients, then you have to pay attention to it, and that will trigger some laboratory … Continue reading 42-30 Staudt: Foundation Medicine’s “Philanthropy of Data” More Than Doubles GDC Portfolio

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