When people think of innovation, often times they think of new products like iPhones and companies like SpaceX. But innovation spans far beyond what one may typically think of and can be applied to any kind of problem-solving challenge. Here at JAX, we strive for innovation in everything we do.
When presented with the challenges associated with navigating the perpetually changing oncology treatment landscape, we knew thinking differently and innovatively when problem-solving would be the only way to find a solution. Ensuring that oncologists and clinicians have every tool at their disposal is paramount to provide the best care to their patients. Out of this need, The Clinical Knowledgebase (CKB) was born. CKB provides a continuously updated genomic encyclopedia of cancer.
DNA sequencing was merely an infant during the 1970s, followed by the full sequence for a bacteriophage generated in the late 1970s. Since this time, the process and application have changed dramatically and now enables the identification of thousands upon thousands of possible cancer-driving mutations in a tumor. Additional tools, including next-generation sequencing (NGS), can also provide insight into potential treatments based on specific disease-causing variants present within a patient’s genome. However, there are an infinite number of variants—including multiple mutations, aberrant expression, copy number variations, fusions, among many others. To further compound the complexity, some aberrations are clinically relevant, while others don’t appear to be. In sum, there was a wealth of information and no centralized place to discover it.
The Clinical Knowledgebase (CKB) was initially developed to alleviate the backlog of data interpretation to support JAX’s in-house clinical genomics lab. The knowledgebase was, and continues to be, meticulously updated daily ensuring a team of subject matter experts review publications in addition to leveraging a robust, rules-based computational engine.
Now, it has evolved to enable searches in a variety of ways, including gene, gene variant, drug class, tumor type, and clinical trials. Alternatively, to keep up with the thousands of publications that come up for daily review, JAX researchers have recently partnered with computer scientists to develop and implement an AI system that will help to triage the publications put forth for team review. With continually updated information, CKB has shown its value to more than 40,000 active users worldwide.
Most importantly, this knowledgebase dramatically improves the clinical decision-making process. It links dynamic digital curation of data and genomic variants to both phenotypes and protein effects, as well as providing on-going clinical trials and potential treatment approaches. The overall design of CKB lends itself well to be agile to respond to changes in guidelines, genomic modalities, and clinical findings as they become available.
CKB offers different levels of access depending on what your research goals may be.
For the 40,000 users (and counting) worldwide, these formats have been invaluable to provide critical data and the overall advancement of precision medicine within the field of oncology. To learn more about CKB and the various formats, visit the CKB home page.