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NCI Planning Biorepository Informatics Integration Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute is planning a funding opportunity to support ways to use informatics and information technology to optimize interoperability between its Cancer Cooperative Group Biobanks and other NCI components, and is seeking input on how best to pursue such
efforts.

The CGBs serve as the biospecimen resource for NCI's Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, and they support research on biomarkers in the context of NCI-sponsored cancer clinical trials. They collect, store, and distribute specimens from patients treated in NCI-funded Phase III trials and large, randomized, controlled Phase II trials.

These collections provide biospecimens that are well annotated and associated with their corresponding data from trials, treatment, and outcomes, and they specifically support research into clinically relevant biomarkers for prognosis and prediction and molecular signatures, as well as identification of therapeutic targets.

NCI expects that more correlative analyses between clinical trials and biomarker data and biospecimen-based experimental data sets will spur innovations in biomarker-driven therapeutic strategies for cancer patients.

The CGB network is composed of multiple, geographically distinct biorepositories, including: the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Biorepository; the Cancer and Leukemia Group B Biorepository; the Children's Oncology Group Biorepository; the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Biorepository; and the Gynecologic Oncology Group Biorepository.

It also includes the North Central Cancer Treatment Group Biorepository; the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Biorepository; the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Biorepository; and the Southwest Oncology Group Biorepository.

NCI said it is currently in the process of reorganizing the network of Cooperative Groups and NCI-sponsored clinical trials as the NCI National Clinical Trials Network, and within this context it is aiming to optimize the informatics system for the NCTN, including informatics for biospecimen resources.

The aim of this request for information is to gather feedback, comments, and novel ideas from members of the informatics and IT communities and relevant scientific communities and the public on the optimal directions it should take for implementing these informatics systems.

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