Transforming Big Data into Cancer-Relevant Insight: An Initial, Multi-Tier Approach to Assess Reproducibility and Relevance

Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Aug;14(8):675-82. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0090. Epub 2016 Jul 11.


The Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD(2)) Network was established to accelerate the transformation of "Big Data" into novel pharmacologic targets, lead compounds, and biomarkers for rapid translation into improved patient outcomes. It rapidly became clear in this collaborative network that a key central issue was to define what constitutes sufficient computational or experimental evidence to support a biologically or clinically relevant finding. This article represents a first attempt to delineate the challenges of supporting and confirming discoveries arising from the systematic analysis of large-scale data resources in a collaborative work environment and to provide a framework that would begin a community discussion to resolve these challenges. The Network implemented a multi-tier framework designed to substantiate the biological and biomedical relevance as well as the reproducibility of data and insights resulting from its collaborative activities. The same approach can be used by the broad scientific community to drive development of novel therapeutic and biomarker strategies for cancer. Mol Cancer Res; 14(8); 675-82. ©2016 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Reproducibility of Results