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MyCancerGenome Finalist for Tech Award

October 28, 2011 | Dagny Stuart

William Pao, M.D., Ph.D.

MyCancerGenome, the online medical decision support tool for cancer care developed by Vanderbilt physician-scientists, has been selected as a finalist for a health care technology award.

The contest, “Using Public Data for Cancer Prevention and Control: From Innovation to Impact Developer Challenge,” is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), and is presented as part of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Investing in Innovation (i2) program. The contest addresses the group’s mission to disseminate information about the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and control of cancer.

MyCancerGenome and three other finalists for the Developer Challenge were announced during the Flagship Fall 2011 San Francisco Health 2.0 conference. Health 2.0 is an online venue that introduces and highlights technology innovations in the health care arena.

Created by William Pao, M.D., Ph.D., director of Personalized Cancer Medicine, and Mia Levy, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Informatics and Medicine, MyCancerGenome is a dynamic database with information about specific types of cancer, important genes and genetic tumor mutations, with links to recent studies and information about recommended therapies.

Mia Levy, M.D., Ph.D.

Having the latest information about mutations found in tumors is crucial because some mutations are drivers that help tumors grow. Physicians can now match patients with specific mutations to new medications designed to block the effects of those mutations.

During an average week, 1,300 physicians, researchers and patients visit the website, which is powered by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The MyCancerGenome online database has now been viewed by people in 90 countries and has gained health care contributors from five countries.

MyCancerGenome was launched earlier this year with information about melanoma and lung cancer and now contains data on six cancer types. The database will be expanded over time to include more information about specific types of cancer.

Vanderbilt staff members with expertise in cancer, informatics and pathology have played crucial roles in the development and growth of MyCancerGenome.

The MyCancerGenome database tool designed by Pao and Levy will now be considered for Phase II of the Developer Challenge. Two winners will each receive a $20,000 prize to present their innovations during a special symposium in January.

The NCI will feature information about all finalist technology tools on an NCI website, including a link to the award-winning material.