CVE: an R package for interactive variant prioritisation in precision oncology

BMC Med Genomics. 2017 May 25;10(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s12920-017-0261-6.


Background: An increasing number of precision oncology programmes are being launched world-wide. To support this development, we present the Cancer Variant Explorer (CVE), an R package with an interactive Shiny web browser interface.

Results: Leveraging Oncotator and the Drug Gene Interaction Database, CVE offers exploration of variants within single or multiple tumour exomes to identify drivers, resistance mechanisms and to assess druggability. We present example applications including the analysis of an individual patient and a cohort-wide study, and provide a first extension of CVE by adding a tumour-specific co-expression network.

Conclusions: The CVE package allows interactive variant prioritisation to expedite the analysis of cancer sequencing studies. Our framework also includes the prioritisation of druggable targets, allows exploratory analysis of tissue specific networks and is extendable for specific applications by virtue of its modular design. We encourage the use of CVE within translational research studies and molecular tumour boards. The CVE package is available via Bioconductor ( ).

Keywords: Cancer variant explorer; Co-expression network; Melanoma; Molecular tumor board; Personalized oncology; Prioritization; TCGA; WGCNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Software*


  • Antineoplastic Agents