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Cancer Genomics Browser gives cancer researchers a powerful new tool
Date:3/30/2009

represents data as "heatmaps," in which colors represent the values of key variables. Genomic and clinical data are displayed side by side, and researchers can group and sort the data on the basis of any feature of interest, such as age, gender, response to therapy, estrogen-receptor status of breast cancers, and so on. Because humans excel at visual pattern recognition, correlations in the data tend to jump out as the user manipulates the browser display.

"The ideas behind it are simple, but the result is a pretty powerful tool. It makes it a lot easier to see patterns in the data," Wang said.

Standard statistical tools are integrated into the browser so that users can perform quantitative analyses. The browser's developers hope to improve these capabilities in the future. "Now that we have the platform, we want to incorporate state-of-the-art algorithms to get the most out of the data," Wang said.

In developing the browser, the researchers used prepublication datasets from the I-SPY Trial (Investigation of Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response with Imaging and Molecular Analysis) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The I-SPY study is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and includes nine cancer centers nationwide. TCGA is a large-scale collaborative effort by NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute to systematically characterize the genomic changes that occur in cancer. The UCSC team is also working with a related worldwide effort, the International Cancer Genome Consortium.


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Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz
Source:Eurekalert

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