Data sharing is emerging as an important part of cancer diagnosis and treatment, and is even an imperative of Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot program. This year at the American Society for Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago (ASCO), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Quest Diagnostics announced the launch of OncoKB, a publicly accessible, web-based Precision Oncology Knowledge Base that puts information about the oncogenic effects and treatment implications of thousands of unique variants in hundreds of cancer-associated genes at the fingertips of researchers around the world. OncoKB was developed in the Marie Josée & Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology (CMO) at MSK.
OncoKB includes annotation for more than 3,000 unique variants in 418 cancer-associated genes, including descriptions of the effects of specific mutations as well as therapeutic implications. Unique to OncoKB is its integration of MSK-internal recommendations, which are provided by the Clinical Genomics Annotation Committee (CGAC), a panel of MSK attending clinicians who are recognized as disease and gene experts in their field. CGAC members advise the OncoKB Team in developing and maintaining content for OncoKB.
The database is available publicly through an interactive web interface at oncokb.org. OncoKB annotations have also been integrated into the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics, a popular resource in the cancer research community, to facilitate easy and better interpretation of cancer genomics data. OncoKB will also allow crowd-sourced variant annotation, which will allow researchers from around the world to submit variant-specific annotation or updates that will be reviewed by the OncoKB team.
Collaborations with renowned institutions such as MSK are in line with Quest’s mission to provide insights that empower people to take actions potentially leading to healthier lives — in this case through more appropriate diagnosis and treatment. OncoKB helps members of the medical community by arming them with a pool of robust clinical and research data.