The rationale of EUCANCan is to build a pilot portal that enables transfers of cancer genomic data between project nodes in Europe and Canada. The project is Coordinated by Prof David Torrents of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center in Spain.
LINQ leads WP7 (Dissemination and Exploitation). In this role, our team manages the EUCANCan website, coordinate the consortium’s dissemination and exportation efforts, and chair the EUCAN Dissemination and Communication group (a cross-project initiative where members of all projects funded under the same Horizon 2020 call meet monthly to discuss shared issues and plan joint efforts).
First nodes connected to the EUCANCan portal
Day one of the consortium meeting included a series of presentations by all work package leaders, bringing everyone up to speed with the latest achievements of their teams.
EUCANCan’s Coordinator on the Canadian side, Prof Lincoln Stein of the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (OICR), shared good news from WP4 (A federation of data portals for interoperability across EUCANCan nodes and responsible sharing of patient genomic data). The group has successfully deployed and connected three nodes to the EUCANCan portal: Berlin, Barcelona and Toronto.
Managing large volumes of data in centralized systems
Acquiring and integrating large volumes of data into centralized systems was a central theme during the meeting. Onco Trials Track has been developed in the context of WP5 (Standardized clinical reporting across sites), led by Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona, Spain. This public platform allows patients and their clinicians to filter cancer clinical trials based on criteria such as tumour type, biomarkers, and research centre. Dr Rodrigo Dienstmann of VHIO shared insights into his team’s work to streamline the process of integrating new data into the system.
Dr Philippe Hupé of Institut Curie leads EUCANCan’s WP2 (Genome analysis pipelines to support the therapeutic decision). He gave an update on geniac, a comprehensive toolbox for genome analysis and benchmarking efforts, helping bioinformaticians and statisticians to harmonize how they prototype, develop and manage pipelines to analyze high-throughput data. The team has also developed a Variant Call Format (VCF) benchmarking tool and completed a benchmarking of different genome analysis pipelines across several of EUCANCan’s partners. Dr Hupé shared the initial results of this initiative with the consortium during the meeting.
EUCANCan’s final project year
EUCANCan is designed as a testbed to test out different technical and sociological solutions to issues related to technical and legal aspects of sharing oncology data between institutions within and across Europe and Canada. Lessons learned and process best practices produced by EUCANCan will be shared both within the consortium and externally to benefit other research consortia and institutions. In line with this aim, WP6 (Ethico-legal framework for clinical oncology data), led by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, aims to produce a toolkit for sharing data between regions and countries with different data privacy laws.
To further support the dissemination and exploitation of knowledge produced by the EUCANCan consortium, LINQ is currently planning several workshops and training events for the final project year in collaboration with partners in the consortium.
We provide a more thorough overview of LINQ’s work with EUCANCan on the project showcase page.