Enabling Precision Medicine in Cancer Care Through a Molecular Data Warehouse: The Moffitt Experience

JCO Clin Cancer Inform. 2021 May:5:561-569. doi: 10.1200/CCI.20.00175.


Purpose: The use of genomics within cancer research and clinical oncology practice has become commonplace. Efforts such as The Cancer Genome Atlas have characterized the cancer genome and suggested a wealth of targets for implementing precision medicine strategies for patients with cancer. The data produced from research studies and clinical care have many potential secondary uses beyond their originally intended purpose. Effective storage, query, retrieval, and visualization of these data are essential to create an infrastructure to enable new discoveries in cancer research.

Methods: Moffitt Cancer Center implemented a molecular data warehouse to complement the extensive enterprise clinical data warehouse (Health and Research Informatics). Seven different sequencing experiment types were included in the warehouse, with data from institutional research studies and clinical sequencing.

Results: The implementation of the molecular warehouse involved the close collaboration of many teams with different expertise and a use case-focused approach. Cornerstones of project success included project planning, open communication, institutional buy-in, piloting the implementation, implementing custom solutions to address specific problems, data quality improvement, and data governance, unique aspects of which are featured here. We describe our experience in selecting, configuring, and loading molecular data into the molecular data warehouse. Specifically, we developed solutions for heterogeneous genomic sequencing cohorts (many different platforms) and integration with our existing clinical data warehouse.

Conclusion: The implementation was ultimately successful despite challenges encountered, many of which can be generalized to other research cancer centers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Data Warehousing*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Precision Medicine