Consortium launches platform to share data from cancer trials

  • April 8, 2014

The Life Sciences Consortium of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer today announced the launch of the Project Data Sphere initiative, a platform designed to facilitate the sharing, integration and analysis of data from phase 3, comparator arm cancer trials.

The platform, developed with SAS Institute Inc., will provide cancer trial datasets from academic and commercial institutions, as well as analytic tools to all registered users.

“What’s exciting about this initiative is that it is both academic and commercial research communities coming together to help reduce the 8.2 million cancer deaths per year,” Charles Hugh-Jones, MD, chief medical officer of Sanofi, told HemOnc Today. “It is providing broad access to cancer data with integrated analytics, available for the first time together. It is a remarkable opportunity to develop solutions for patients by both traditional and non-traditional researchers.”

The collaborative effort includes data from AstraZeneca; Bayer; Celgene; Janssen Research and Development, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Pfizer and Sanofi US. The Project Data Sphere initiative is currently working with these and other organizations, including the NCI-sponsored Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, Amgen and Quintiles to provide additional datasets.

Upon its launch, the platform will have nine datasets representing nearly 4,000 patients, and plans call for an additional 25 datasets to be added in the near future.

Data will be available across cancer types, Hugh-Jones said.

The platform will also work with advocacy groups to build research challenges. The first planned challenge will focus on prostate cancer through the joint efforts of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Sage Bionetworks, The Dream Project and researchers from the University of North Carolina.

Social media tools will also be added in the second phase of the initiative to facilitate research interaction.

“There are so many great things that you can do with shared data — everything from developing standards to reducing duplication to enhancing clinical trial design,” Hugh-Jones said. “We might even get to a stage in the future where you can actually reduce trial sizes because you have a sufficiently large database to interrogate trial drugs against, and that’s particularly important to cancer. There are people with a huge variety of skill sets — whether it be mathematics, whether it be life sciences and so on — who can work together on this platform in the future to build out additional uses of the data that will contribute in the long run to cancer patients.”

For more information:

CEO Life Sciences Consortium. Project Data Sphere. Available at: www.projectdatasphere.org/projectdatasphere/html/home. Accessed April 8, 2014.