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May 26, 2022

Maximizing Cancer Data—The Future of Cancer Is Now

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2Trans-Divisional Research Program, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Oncol. 2022;8(8):1095-1096. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2022.1572

Over the last few decades, major advances in technology have produced large-scale, multidimensional data for cancer research. Previously, cancers were simply characterized by anatomical site, pathology, and histologic findings. Cancer is now known to be not a single disease but many, each biologically distinct and requiring its own unique treatment. New cancer diagnoses today are characterized with more complexity and often start with the measurement of molecular features (DNA, RNA, or proteins) to accurately characterize the tumor and match the individual to a molecularly informed treatment plan. Even after treatment is complete, the combination of clinical, pathology, molecular, treatment, and response data can be used to generate evidence necessary to help numerous patients.

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