Through the Childhood Cancer Data initiative, the National Cancer Institute could leverage existing national infrastructure such as the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), Pediatric Health Information System, and electronic health records to define optimal therapeutic strategies for pediatric patients with hematologic cancers. Such platforms could be useful because they contain comprehensive information on patient demographics, treatment information, response and outcome data, and there is growing experience in the field on how to analyze such data in a meaningful way. A thoughtful, minimally cumbersome process for granting investigators access to such data should also be put in place.
The American Society of Hematology has a vested interest in immune-oncology specifically as it relates to adverse events resulting from these therapies as well as collecting and analyzing data to inform future pre-clinical and clinical studies in the immune-oncology area. To that end, the Society continues to work collaboratively with CIBMTR and other professional societies to collect cellular immunotherapy data in a unified manner and to create tools for efficient data analysis.
As for new tools, the identification of new targets and therapies for pediatric cancers would benefit from a pediatric cancer data ecosystem that captures genomic, epigenetic and non-genomic data (e.g., proteomic, epidemiologic, biospecimens, and phenotypic data) in a manner that allows for interconnectivity and interoperability and includes effective analytic tools.