Georgia Cancer Center database supports national initiative to cure cancer

AUGUSTA, Ga. – On Monday, June 6, Vice President Joe Biden, in an address to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, announced the public launch of the Genomic Data Commons, an open-access cancer database containing the raw genomic and clinical data for an initial 12,000 patients. More, he said, would be added with additional researcher contributions.

Much of that information could come from the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University.

In 2005, a cancer-specific biorepository was established at the Georgia Cancer Center. The biorepository would serve as a central hub in a network of Georgia research institutions tasked with collecting, cataloging, analyzing and storing tumor samples for current and future research.

Today, the biorepository holds an estimated 50,000 data samples and 20,000 tumor samples from 16,000 consenting donors from across the state, and it continues to grow. The goal is to provide researchers at the Cancer Center, across the state and beyond and more complete picture of the diversity of Georgia populations and the cancers that affect them.

Research projects currently utilizing biorepository data and samples include studies targeting colon cancer, breast cancer, leukemia and advances in immunotherapy.

Dr. Roni Bollag, Georgia Cancer Center Tumor Bank director, said the model established by the Cancer Center’s biobank will provide exactly the kind of information requested by and required for the Genomic Data Commons.

About the Georgia Cancer Center

The Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University is a multidisciplinary academic cancer center with a mission to reduce the burden of cancer in Georgia and across the globe through superior care, innovation and education. Its patient-centered approach includes first-in-the-nation treatment protocols, an experimental therapeutics program and specialized clinics for state-of-the-art drug and immunotherapy clinical trials.

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Steven Uhles

Steven Uhles is Director of Media and Marketing for the Georgia Cancer Center. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-723-0096 or

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Written by Steven Uhles

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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