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Collaboration develops informatics system for researching breast cancer

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The Windber Research Institute (WRI), a non-profit research institute with programmes focusing on breast cancer, gynaecological disease, cardiovascular disease, health promotion and disease prevention, and IDBS, a global provider of enterprise data management, analytics and modelling solutions, have collaborated on the development of an informatics system for researching breast cancer causes and treatments.

Integrating all the data acquired from multiple platforms and making them usable at the point of need is critical to the success of translational research, and this is an important field of research and development in biomedical informatics. Working with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, WRI and IDBS created a comprehensive data warehouse comprised of a complex set of approximately 1,000 detailed breast cancer attributes, including risk factors, patient history, pathology and treatment.

The Data Warehousing for Translational Research system (DW4TR) integrates multiple data points on cancer attributes such as risk factors, patient history and treatment, and makes this information available in a single source to give scientists the information they need for research into translational medicine or for clinical risk assessment. The project has been featured in a joint paper – ‘DW4TR: A Data Warehouse for Translational Research’ – published in the December 2011 issue of The Journal of Biomedical Informatics.