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National Brain Tumor Society Statement on Launch of Genomic Data Commons

2016-06-07

National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the brain tumor community, today released the following statement from David F. Arons, Chief Executive Officer, on Vice President Joseph Biden’s announcement of the launch of National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Genomic Data Commons (GDC):

“National Brain Tumor Society offers our full support of, and encouragement for, the newly announced Genomic Data Commons, which will be an initiative of the National Cancer Institute and a core component of the National Cancer Moonshot and the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative. 

Collaboration and ‘team science’ has been an important topic for the National Brain Tumor Society for a number of years, both as a scientific advocacy issue and as part of our own research funding strategy. And in order to make the most of collaborative research efforts, and accelerate the pace of discoveries, it is paramount that information and data be shared amongst researchers, even those at traditionally competing institutions or organizations.

Additionally, brain tumor research has benefited greatly from the NCI-led Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) efforts, which chose to make glioblastoma (GBM), the most common malignant brain tumor, the first tumor type sequenced as part of its historic undertaking. TCGA data has, and continues to drive, critical research efforts into the genomic alterations that contribute to GBM tumorigenesis, growth and proliferation. In that respect, NBTS is appreciative of the fact that TCGA data will make up the initial bedrock of the GDC. We hope that continued mining and utilization of TCGA glioblastoma data will contribute to the development of new and more effective treatments for patients with these and other brain tumor types.

We thank the Vice President for his continued leadership and energy – particularly on the topic of data sharing and collaboration – as well as the leadership of the National Cancer Institute, including Director Doug Lowy, and all of the experts that made this platform possible.

Finally, it is worth noting that the GDC is also made possible because of last year’s increase in funding to the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. We urge members of Congress to take note of the opportunities achieved through bipartisan commitment to strong funding of our nation’s biomedical research institute, and to remain committed to this national priority.”  

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About National Brain Tumor Society

National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the brain tumor community. We are fiercely committed to finding better treatments and driving rapid progress toward a cure for brain tumors. We drive a multi-faceted and thoughtful approach to aggressively influence and fund strategic research, as well as advocate for public policy changes, in order to achieve the greatest impact, results, and progress for brain tumor patients. Money raised by the generous donations of our supporters has directly funded groundbreaking discoveries, programs, clinical trials and policy initiatives.

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