六月初夏，2016 ASCO (American Cancer Society of Clinical Oncology meeting) 美国癌症协会，临床肿瘤学会议在芝加哥 McCormick Place召开。
很多科学研究都起步于一个“假设”（Hypothesis)。基于“假设”去设计实验，验证“假设”。而癌症研究却不属于这类科学。副总统Biden提到 肿瘤专家应该致力于探索病人的未知领域。他突出的是“探索”(Exploring) 而不是“假设”。他讲到：“我们期待最好的医生能给以我们关于这些未知的解释。”
在此，基于“打破数据分享障碍”的话题，2016 ASCO大力宣传了一个数据分享平台：“CancerLINQTM”。这个平台具有三个主要特性：可使用性；可搜索性；及时性。为肿瘤医生提供三个“C”,一个“A”。即: 1. 病人比较分析有指南；2. 病人能和数据库里其他的病人进行比较；3. 输入病人信息，获得病人信息的可持续性；4. 能共享整个癌症协会的信息。
The brand new tendency of cancer research for hopes: Breaking down data sharing barriers, and answering big questions in cancer by team science
—a wonderful speech from Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden in 2016 ASCO
The University of Chicago, Xiao Liu
At the beginning of this beautiful summer, 2016 ASCO (American Cancer Society of Clinical Oncology) meeting was held at McCormick Place in Chicago.
On 6th, June, (Chicago time 3:00pm), Vice President Joe Biden gave a wonderful and inspiring address at ASCO in Chicago related to “Cancer Moonshot” and “Precision Cancer Therapy”.
In this address, he put forward the concept and importance of breaking down data sharing barriers and answering big questions in cancer by team science. He mentioned that cancer has over 200 types, and therefore any improvement and good result should belong to not only individual researcher but also teamwork.
Many science researches started from “hypothesis”. Designing rigorous experiments is for proving the hypothesis. However, cancer research does not fall into this “category” of science. Vice President Biden said: “Oncologists have to explore the unknown with their patients.” Here, he emphasized “exploring” but not “hypothesizing”. “We expected the best doctor to explain the unknown.” He said.
And then, he posed three “openness”, which were opening data (oncologists and researchers can share their research and patient data), opening collaborations (oncologists can work with biologists, immunologists, chemical engineers, data science, technicians, surgeons, imaging and radiology specialists), and opening mind (changing the mind set, and taking off the jealousness).
He gave a high praise to Robert Grossman’s team from the University of Chicago, which has been leading and working on the National Cancer Institute’s Genomic Data Commons (GDC) for allowing large amounts of cancer data to be shared. Besides data sharing, he more emphasized the “team science” throughout his speech. He used “…reward team science to answer big question” to inspire the audiences, and global cancer researchers to work together! He was excited, “Imagine, you all work together. I’m not joking.” with repeating for emphasizing “Imagine if you all work together! Imagine! Imagine!!”
Finally, Vice President Biden used a motto for finally inspiring scientists working together on “Cancer Moonshot” for “American’s good fortune”: “Diligence is the mother of good fortune.”
Related to data sharing, ASCO has greatly released a platform—“CancerLINQTM” for oncologists. This platform has three main characteristics: usable, searchable and real time information. There were 3 “C” and 1 “A” provided by CancerLINQTM, which were “comparing patients with guideline”, “comparing your patients to other patients”, “contributing and gaining continuous learning” and “accessing to the entire oncology community”.
In summary, the complexity and personalized feature of cancer determined that the inevitability of the tendency for cancer research is big data sharing and team science globally.