In September 2020, we began an important effort to integrate the Pediatric Cancer Data Commons with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Research Data Commons (CRDC). This 18-month project will make it possible to link PCDC data with data in other CRDC nodes across the country, creating a robust, integrated resource for pediatric cancer research.

Currently, our team is working to incorporate our data dictionaries into the CRDC-H harmonized data model being developed by the Center for Cancer Data Harmonization. This requires aligning and harmonizing data across multiple disease-specific data dictionaries to a common PCDC-H data model. Beginning with our dictionaries for neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, germ cell tumors, and AML, we are mapping data to the PCDC-H model as well as applying NCI codes for data elements.

Our next step is to implement a cloud-based Gen3 platform for managing, analyzing, harmonizing, and sharing large datasets. This infrastructure will enable us to establish interoperability with other CRDC nodes, which will be the focus of the latter part of the project. Once data dictionaries have been harmonized to a common standard, the Unique Specimen Identifier developed and assigned by Children’s Oncology Group (COG) makes it possible to link data for the same patient across multiple repositories. Our technology team will work with stakeholders and node developers to connect PCDC data with other CRDC nodes and COG data resources, such as the Gabriella Miller Kids First Data Resource Center, so that users are able to create linked datasets and leverage cloud-based tools across multiple nodes and resources.

This work will help the NCI establish a definitive source for pediatric oncology demographics. The linkages it enables will make the clinical data in the PCDC significantly more powerful for researchers by connecting it to other sources and types of data, such as genomic and imaging data. Ultimately, this integration will make new forms of pediatric oncology research possible and bring us closer to improved therapies and better outcomes for children with cancer.