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About the GDC

The Genomic Data Commons (GDC) is a research program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The mission of the GDC is to provide the cancer research community with a unified repository and cancer knowledge base that enables data sharing across cancer genomic studies in support of precision medicine.

The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training. NCI’s mission is to lead, conduct, and support cancer research across the nation to advance scientific knowledge and help all people to live longer, healthier lives. NCI’s scope of work spans a broad spectrum of cancer research across a variety of disciplines and supports research training opportunities at career stages across the academic continuum.

GDC Promoting Precision Medicine in Oncology

About the GDC: Promoting Precision Medicine in Oncology 
June 1, 2016

The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Genomic Data Commons (GDC) is a data sharing platform that promotes precision medicine in oncology. It is not just a database or a tool; it is an expandable knowledge network supporting the import and standardization of genomic and clinical data from cancer research programs.

The GDC contains NCI-generated data from some of the largest and most comprehensive cancer genomic datasets, including The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Therapies (TARGET). For the first time, these datasets have been processed using a common set of bioinformatics pipelines, so that the data can be directly compared.

As a growing knowledge system for cancer, the GDC also enables researchers to submit data, and the GDC processes these data using bioinformatics pipelines for aligning the data to a common reference genome and generating higher level data such as variant calls and expression quantifications. As more researchers add clinical and genomic data to the GDC, it will become an even more powerful tool for making discoveries about the molecular basis of cancer that may lead to better care for patients.

The GDC provides the Research Community with the Following Benefits

  • Access to high-quality standardized biospecimen, clinical, and molecular data
  • Web-based tools supporting fine-grained queries, advanced visualization, smart search technologies, and personalized download facilities
  • Bioinformatics pipelines supporting DNA and RNA sequence alignment against a common reference genome
  • Programmatic interfaces supporting data retrieval, download, and submission by third party applications
  • Resources supporting the high performance retrieval, download, and submission of GDC data
  • Data submission tools for validating and submitting data into GDC
  • Data generation pipelines supporting the high level data generation of DNA sequence variants, mutation analyses, SNP chip genotypes, and expression analyses
  • Interfaces to eRA Commons and dbGaP for secure access to controlled data sets

GDC Involvement with Cancer Research

Learn more about how the GDC supports the translation of  biomedical research into clinical medicine:

Find cancer research highlights and publications:

GDC Team

The GDC is managed by a project team comprised of scientists and specialists from NCI, contracting organizations, and members of several focused external advisory groups.

From the GDC FAQ

I only see patients with ages of 90 years or less in the GDC. Why is this?

HIPAA guidelines require that patients with ages greater than 89 years be aggregated into a single age category. This is to limit the ability to positively identify these individuals. In practice this will impact the values reported in several fields. We have chosen to accurately display the age at diagnosis, but fields that give dates or time periods after this benchmark may be compressed. This may include such fields as "Days to last follow up", "Days to last known disease status", "Days to recurrence", "Days to death", and "Year of death". Other fields found in clinical supplement files may also be impacted. In the Data Portal you will only see ages of less than or equal to 90. Individuals over 89 will all appear as 90 years old.

Stay Informed

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