Video Tip of the Week: My Cancer Genome

computer_docThere are a lot of cancer database resources out there. Most of the ones we’ve focused on have been the data repository types. TCGA, ICGC, CaBIG, COSMIC, Cancer Genome Workbench, UCSC Cancer Genomic Browser, and of course big repositories like GEO. Researchers will need these sources of data to locate key alterations in cancer cells and tissues, and to evaluate changes with treatment conditions. But these are possibly not the most useful places for clinicians faced with a specific sample, or for patients trying to understand their situations. As more and more tumor sampling data becomes available, direct and specific access to actionable pieces of information will be crucial.

The MyCancerGenome site aims to serve that actionable end of the data spectrum. It has been developing for a while, but the recent story in the New York Times reminded me of it: Variations on a Gene, and Tools to Find Them. So for this week’s Video Tip of the Week, I bring you a look at the My Cancer Genome resources. They have a nice intro video that I will include here. It highlights features that I wouldn’t have been able to access–the part that links patient records + mutations + the curated detailed pages about the mutations and relevant studies. The public has access to that last part, but you wouldn’t be able to see the electronic health record part from the public side.

Papers are coming out that describe the deposition of information into the MyCancerGenome site. You can learn more about the philosophy and strategy about cataloging the somatic mutations that are clinically relevant in the recent paper about the DIRECT (DNA mutation Inventory to Refine and Enhance Cancer Treatment) project. A tab at that site shows you the initial data associated with that, from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) mutations in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EFGR). And as more of this data comes along we’ll see it grow, of course. Seems a good step in translational medicine. So have a look at the useful and evidence-based information about specific cancer-related variations they are collecting.

Another feature is a search option to find clinical trials–by disease or by gene. I don’t think I’ve seen a gene-specific search for this kind of information before. This could be useful for people who need access to new treatment options if they have specific mutation data about their own tumors.

Have a look at My Cancer Genome, and think about where we are going with this data. I hope that the new cancer genomics data will really help drive appropriate and effective treatment strategies.

Quick link:

My Cancer Genome site:

NYT article: Variations on a Gene, and Tools to Find Them


Swanton, C. (2012). My Cancer Genome: a unified genomics and clinical trial portal The Lancet Oncology, 13 (7), 668-669 DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70312-1

Yeh, P., Chen, H., Andrews, J., Naser, R., Pao, W., & Horn, L. (2013). DNA-Mutation Inventory to Refine and Enhance Cancer Treatment (DIRECT): A Catalog of Clinically Relevant Cancer Mutations to Enable Genome-Directed Anticancer Therapy Clinical Cancer Research, 19 (7), 1894-1901 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-1894

My Cancer Genome. 2013. (Accessed 4/30/2013).

2 thoughts on “Video Tip of the Week: My Cancer Genome

  1. Taneya

    Hello – great post about My Cancer Genome! A point of clarification if I may –the integration of results into our electronic health record is not part of My Cancer Genome proper – so you do see everything that is available on the site. The electronic medical record is a separate system – so rest assured – you’re able to access all of MCG in its entirety. :-) I am a member of the Knowledge Management team at Vanderbilt and we have aided with evidence provision for MCG. Thanks!

  2. Mary Post author

    Hi Taneya–Ok, gotcha. I didn’t mean to convey that it should be accessible, I understand that the health records would be internal for your users. But I wouldn’t have had a way to show that if I made the video myself, which I often will for a resource tip. I am glad the video showed that to give people an idea how it could be used. Thanks for coming by to explain the detail.

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