OncoKB: A Precision Oncology Knowledge Base

JCO Precis Oncol. 2017 Jul;2017:PO.17.00011. doi: 10.1200/PO.17.00011. Epub 2017 May 16.


Purpose: With prospective clinical sequencing of tumors emerging as a mainstay in cancer care, there is an urgent need for a clinical support tool that distills the clinical implications associated with specific mutation events into a standardized and easily interpretable format. To this end, we developed OncoKB, an expert-guided precision oncology knowledge base.

Methods: OncoKB annotates the biological and oncogenic effect and the prognostic and predictive significance of somatic molecular alterations. Potential treatment implications are stratified by the level of evidence that a specific molecular alteration is predictive of drug response based on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, disease-focused expert group recommendations and the scientific literature.

Results: To date, over 3000 unique mutations, fusions, and copy number alterations in 418 cancer-associated genes have been annotated. To test the utility of OncoKB, we annotated all genomic events in 5983 primary tumor samples in 19 cancer types. Forty-one percent of samples harbored at least one potentially actionable alteration, of which 7.5% were predictive of clinical benefit from a standard treatment. OncoKB annotations are available through a public web resource (http://oncokb.org/) and are also incorporated into the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics to facilitate the interpretation of genomic alterations by physicians and researchers.

Conclusion: OncoKB, a comprehensive and curated precision oncology knowledge base, offers oncologists detailed, evidence-based information about individual somatic mutations and structural alterations present in patient tumors with the goal of supporting optimal treatment decisions.