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Br J Cancer. 2015 Nov 17;113(10):1405-12. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.341. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

Big Data: the challenge for small research groups in the era of cancer genomics.

Author information

1
Research Oncology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK.
2
Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala 751 85, Sweden.
3
Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's Health Partners Cancer Biobank, King's College London, Research Oncology, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK.
4
Breast Cancer Now Research Unit, Research Oncology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK.

Abstract

In the past decade, cancer research has seen an increasing trend towards high-throughput techniques and translational approaches. The increasing availability of assays that utilise smaller quantities of source material and produce higher volumes of data output have resulted in the necessity for data storage solutions beyond those previously used. Multifactorial data, both large in sample size and heterogeneous in context, needs to be integrated in a standardised, cost-effective and secure manner. This requires technical solutions and administrative support not normally financially accounted for in small- to moderate-sized research groups. In this review, we highlight the Big Data challenges faced by translational research groups in the precision medicine era; an era in which the genomes of over 75,000 patients will be sequenced by the National Health Service over the next 3 years to advance healthcare. In particular, we have looked at three main themes of data management in relation to cancer research, namely (1) cancer ontology management, (2) IT infrastructures that have been developed to support data management and (3) the unique ethical challenges introduced by utilising Big Data in research.

PMID:
26492224
PMCID:
PMC4815885
DOI:
10.1038/bjc.2015.341
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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