Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 34 of 51 May/June 2018 Clinical OMICs 33 Since the human genome was first unraveled, it has played a role in significantly improving cancer treatment. But until now, cancer genomics data have mainly been shared by doc- tors via paper records, according to researchers at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Now, UNMC and GenomOn- cology, a genomic technology and services provider, hope to change that with their recent announcement that they developed a way to transfer genomics data directly to elec- tronic health records (EHRs), and, in turn, making the data that much easier for researchers and doctors to use. "Basically, this [breakthrough] allows us to take gene sequence data and treat it no differently than a blood test in EHRs," said Scott Campbell, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of informatics for the Public Health Labora- tory and the Pathology Laboratory at the Buffett Cancer Center. Scott Campbell—who co-led the project at UNMC with James Campbell, M.D., professor of internal medicine for UNMC (no relation)—said the project had "been exten- sive," and had "involved significant involvement at the international level, the national trade association level and the local level." To be able to bring genomics data to an EHR, UNMC and GenomOncology took complex targeted gene sequences and paired them with very descriptive SNOMED questions, Campbell said. SNOMED describes itself as "the most com- prehensive and precise clinical health terminology product in the world." "We created specific and defined SNOMED questions that fit into HL7 (Health Level Seven International) and describe a gene sequence," Scott Campbell said. "We extended SNOMED and compressed Human Genome Variation Soci- ety protocol until it fit into an HL7 Version 2 message." "HL7 is the most common communication method to move healthcare data between systems and is used by essentially every hospital in the U.S. and Canada to com- municate laboratory test results between electronic health record (EHR) systems," according to HL7. "This is the first time this has been done," Scott Campbell said. He has been traveling worldwide sharing the news at various meetings and conferences, and "it has been received well," he said. The significance of having the genomics data available in an EHR is that it allows physicians to use decision-mak- ing software to determine the best course of treatment for specific gene signatures, he said. In the past, doctors had to "pour through written reports and disjointed computer files" to find patients that could be impacted by a new treat- ment. "This brings precision medicine into something really applicable," he added. The project was funded by a National Institutes of Health big data research grant called, "Big Data to Knowledge," and UNMC is in the second year of the three-year grant. The work started with an effort to encode every aspect of the College of American Pathologists cancer reports so that researchers and doctors could have the records they need, "giving clinicians a leg up in the understanding of dis- eases," he said. The information on how to share the genomics data is open-sourced and available on the UNMC website. "It's there to be used," Scott Campbell said. "It's available free of charge for non-commercial use if you have a license with the National Library of Medicine." — Diana Manos University Nebraska, GenomOncology Break Barrier with Genomics Data in EHRs Scott Campbell, Ph.D., director of informatics at the Buffett Cancer Center said the method developed to incorporate genomic data in an EHR is no different than bringing in data from a blood test.

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