IDBS and the Windber Research Institute have published the results of a joint research effort to develop an informatics platform, dubbed the Data Warehouse for Translational Research, for studying breast cancer causes and treatments.
The paper, published this month in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, explained that while the tool was initially developed for breast cancer, it is intended to support multiple translational research projects.
Hai Hu, WRI's senior director of biomedical informatics and deputy chief scientific officer at WRI, said in a statement that the researchers used datasets from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's clinical breast care project.
The data warehouse is comprised of 1,000 breast cancer attributes, including risk factors, patient history, pathology, and treatment data.
With patients' information available in a single source, scientists will be able to create and run queries across the data to support multiple research goals, whether for translational medicine or clinical risk assessment, the partners said.
The model has been tested in other settings, such as a gynecological disease program, and found to be "effective" in these cases, Hu said.
Hu, who is also the project lead, said that his institution developed the system's data model while IDBS handled the software development and implementation.
Windber began developing the system in 2005 with InforSense, which IDBS acquired in 2009.