Leading-Edge Informatics and Cloud Computing Platform Revolutionize Early Detection Cancer Research

November 12, 2009

Canary Foundation today announced a collaborative project involving GenoLogics Life Sciences Software, National Cancer Institute’s Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to provision Canary Foundation researchers with a cutting-edge translational research informatics solution.

Canary Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to early detection of cancer, is aiming to transform medical oncology in the years to come through their research work on early detection of cancer. To this end, Canary Foundation, in partnership with the NCI’s EDRN, has commissioned a translational research informatics platform that will be provisioned by GenoLogics and NASA JPL. This leading-edge informatics platform will enable integrated translational research data (clinical and omics datasets), is cloud computing hosted, will leverage semantic web technologies, and it will support biomarker detection and validation studies at a number of world-class research centers. These centers include the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the BC Cancer Agency, UT South Western Medical Center, the University of Southern California Genomics Center, Stanford University, and other leading research enterprises.

To provision this translational research informatics platform, GenoLogics partnered with NASA JPL to combine domain expertise, informatics, and semantic web expertise with products and technologies, to create an end-to-end solution that will support a full range of activities, collaborations, and analyses of translational research approaches for early detection of cancer. With funding from Canary Foundation and EDRN, the software architected by GenoLogics and NASA JPL will effectively link discovery research through to biomarker validation.

“This architecture will support the full spectrum of research activities from discovery to validation to clinical results in one integrated solution,” commented Dan Crichton, Informatics PI at JPL. “Using a cloud-based approach provides many IT and collaboration benefits to the program and researchers and allows for the sharing of data across the cancer community and between multiple research programs.”

The cloud computing approach supports the rapid scale-up of data storage, which is crucial as a wide variety of genomics and proteomics data sets will be need to be generated, integrated, and managed as part of this effort. Next generation sequencing will be performed in Shanghai on the Illumina Genome Analyzer II, where each analyzed biospecimen will generate terabytes of data. GenoLogics will work with JPL to leverage semantic web technologies and support EDRN common data elements, ensuring a wide variety of cancer researchers will be enabled to share data and collaborate like never before.

GenoLogics is making a considerable donation of technology, expertise, and services with their state-of-the-art biomedical informatics software solution to Canary Foundation for the use of all research teams for biomarker discovery and validation studies at the new Canary Center for Early Detection Cancer Research at Stanford University.

Don Listwin, founder and chairman of Canary Foundation, asserts, “With the technologies of EDRN and GenoLogics, Canary Foundation will be able to record clinical data from the earliest sample through to discovery, verification and validation. This enables tremendous progress in our early cancer detection research.”

Canary Foundation’s Lung Cancer Research Team will be the first to use this system to analyze lung cancer cell lines, tissues, and blood from smokers and patients who have never smoked. Candidate biomarkers will be identified by studying alterations in DNA, RNA, and protein levels that are unique to never-smokers with lung cancer.

“One of the most significant challenges facing life sciences researchers today is seamlessly integrating, analyzing and sharing integrated clinical and biomolecular data − which is particularly important to support translational research. The Canary Foundation, the NCI EDRN, and NASA’s JPL are ideal partners for GenoLogics in this collaborative project that will help GenoLogics expand the capabilities of our biomedical informatics product suite to enable better science,” stated GenoLogics’ VP Market Strategy, James DeGreef.

This combined software informatics platform will be available in early 2010 for use in the EDRN-Canary Lung Cancer Biomarker Program, and made available to select customers in the first half of 2010.

About Canary Foundation
Canary Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the goal of identifying cancer early through a simple blood test and then isolating it with imaging. Since 2004, Canary has raised over $30 million to support early detection research. Its collaborative research programs span multiple disciplines and institutions. One hundred percent of donations go to early detection research activities.

For more information, please visit www.canaryfoundation.org

About NCI Early Detection Research Network
The Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), an initiative of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), brings together dozens of institutions to help accelerate the translation of biomarker information into clinical applications and to evaluate new ways of testing cancer in its earliest stages and for cancer risk.

For more information, please visit http://edrn.nci.nih.gov/about-edrn

About NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

For more information, please visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov