February 25, 2016
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's newly launched Center for Data-Driven Discovery in Biomedicine will continue its commitment to the White House Precision Medicine Initiative after announcing the completion of a new cloud-based platform to store, share and analyze genomics data on pediatric cancer patients.
The platform, Cavatica, was announced Thursday at the Precision Medicine Initiative Summit in Washington, D.C., where it was hailed as an innovative 'big data' tool that will advance and help coordinate the efforts of the pediatric research community.
Developed by CHOP in partnership with Seven Bridges, a biomedical data analysis company, Cavatica will be used to integrate curated pediatric cancer data from a national network of more than 15 leading hospitals, industry leaders, patients, and their families. The platform's open infrastructure will provide researchers access to genomic data that will aid new discoveries and, in turn, help doctors select precise cancer therapies to match with individual patients.
In particular, Cavatica will be used to house a biorepository for the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), a multi-institutional collaboration whose lead operations center is based at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
"The 'big data' genomics revolution presents us with unprecedented opportunities to improve treatments for pediatric brain tumors, which are the leading cause of disease-related death in children," said Phillip Storm, M.D., division chief of Neurosurgery at CHOP and the Center's co-director.
The platform will also support data analytics and exchange for the San Francisco-based Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), which supports precision medicine trials to match therapies with a patient's specific tumor makeup.
Cavatica is modeled on the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Genomics Cloud pilot, the first cloud-based platform to provide access to data analytics tools for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), one of the world's largest genomic datasets.
The Precision Medicine Initiative, launched by President Obama in his 2015 State of the Union, aims to advance a new era of treatment in which research, technology and policy are used to tailor medical interventions for individualized care. The PMI is also committed to developing preventive strategies through the analysis of unique patient characteristics, including their genome sequence, microbiome composition, health history, lifestyle, and diet.
"Nothing excites us more than breaking down barriers to improved care for kids," said James Sietstra, President of Seven Bridges. "At the end of the day, Cavatica will help patients, hospitals, and large consortia work together for ever-faster precision medicine advances."