The NCI’s Center for Cancer Data Harmonization (CCDH) aims to create a national cancer data ecosystem that will enable all participants across the cancer research and care continuum to contribute, access, combine and analyze diverse data to facilitate new discoveries and lead to lowering the burden of cancer in our country.
The CCDH serves three main roles within the Cancer Research Data Commons (CRDC) ecosystem:
- Facilitate retrospective and prospective semantic harmonization of data across nodes of the CRDC.
- Coordinate the community to ensure quality “fit for purpose” design and implementation of standards that will facilitate interoperability of heterogeneous data types and CRDC resources
- Find agreement across the communities built around CRDC, including matching and extending data models, determining annotation and harmonization and building quality assurance resources.
CCDH relies on the community of NIH cancer nodes to inform cancer data community needs and direct future CCDH output. This community integration is crucial in assessing the current state of cancer data systems and the needs of researchers as the CCDH works to facilitate an interoperable cancer data ecosystem. To develop a deeper understanding of the existing cancer data landscape and identify opportunities for improvement, the CCDH team conducts regular focus group interviews with representatives from core US cancer data repositories and commons to gather specifications and requirements that will inform the development of the Center’s resources.