A federated network for translational cancer research using clinical data and biospecimens

Rebecca S. Jacobson, Michael J. Becich, Roni J. Bollag, Girish Chavan, Julia Corrigan, Rajiv Dhir, Michael D. Feldman, Carmelo Gaudioso, Elizabeth Legowski, Nita J. Maihle, Kevin Mitchell, Monica Murphy, Mayurapriyan Sakthivel, Eugene Tseytlin, Joellen Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Advances in cancer research and personalized medicine will require significant new bridging infrastructures, including more robust biorepositories that link human tissue to clinical phenotypes and outcomes. In order to meet that challenge, four cancer centers formed the Text Information Extraction System (TIES) Cancer Research Network, a federated network that facilitates data and biospecimen sharing among member institutions. Member sites can access pathology data that are de-identified and processed with the TIES natural language processing system, which creates a repository of rich phenotype data linked to clinical biospecimens. TIES incorporates multiple security and privacy best practices that, combined with legal agreements, network policies, and procedures, enable regulatory compliance. The TIES Cancer Research Network now provides integrated access to investigators at all member institutions, where multiple investigator-driven pilot projects are underway. Examples of federated search across the network illustrate the potential impact on translational research, particularly for studies involving rare cancers, rare phenotypes, and specific biologic behaviors. The networksatisfies several key desiderata including local control of data and credentialing, inclusion of rich phenotype information, and applicability to diverse research objectives. The TIES Cancer Research Network presents a model for a national data and biospecimen network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5194-5201
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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