The quest for new cancer biomarkers and targets for therapy requires not only the aggregation and analysis of heterogeneous biomolecular data but also integration of clinical data. In this review we highlight information technology solutions for the integration of biomolecular and clinical data and focus on a solution at the departmental level, i.e., decentralized and medium-scale solution for groups of labs working on a specific topic. Both, hardware and software requirements are described as well as bioinformatics methods and tools for the data analysis. The highlighted IT solutions include storage architecture, high-performance computing, and application servers. Additionally, following computational approaches for data integration are reviewed: data aggregation, integrative data analysis including methodological aspects as well as examples, biomolecular pathways and network reconstruction, and mathematical modelling. Finally, a case study in cancer immunology including the used computational methods is shown, demonstrating how IT solutions for integrating biomolecular and clinical data can help to identify new cancer biomarkers for improving diagnosis and predicting clinical outcome.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.