Cancer Research Informatics and Services (CRIS) is a medical informatics core that provided data, data systems, software and analytics support to 46 investigators across all 5 programs within the VCU Massey Cancer Center (MCC) in the past year. Users include clinical, cancer prevention and control, and laboratory researchers. CRIS is closely integrated with and routinely supports the Tissue and Data Acquisition and Analysis Core (TDAAC) and the clinical trials enterprise. Services include: data integration, custom data set construction, preparatory to research requests, custom/standardized report and data set generation used in cohort discovery, grant submission and clinical annotation. The tools used to perform these services include the MCC Information System (MCCIS), the Automated Cancer Extraction (ACE) application, the Clinical Trials Eligibility Database (CTED), and the clinical trials data management system (Oncore?). MCCIS, ACE, and CTED were designed and developed at VCU to fill unmet gaps in informatics support to MCC researchers. These components represent highly innovative functional tools designed for inter-operability and based on community standards with extensibility and scalability, with patient security and confidentiality a strong development consideration. CRIS data used to support researchers consist of linked electronic clinical sources on all patients within the VCU Health System (VCUHS). These source data are maintained in a linked, annotated Universal Data Store (UDS) integrated with the other tools that may be downloaded either as source documents (e.g., surgical pathology reports) or as specific datasets-designed and developed by core personnel to answer specific research questions. The ACE application processes and screens data to identify and monitor cancer patients for the hospital cancer registry and annotation services. CTED directly supports clinical research by serving as the tracking system and primary data repository for patients evaluated for clinical trials. A recent, novel functional enhancement is the CTED Automatching Tool, which automatically provides preparatory to research screening of the data against eligibility requirements for specific studies and sends the results to research staff. CRIS has enhanced its functionality and its usage in the past 2 years. It has provided support for 22 funded grants totaling >$6 million dollars, supported 67 publications and 12 submitted research applications. The core will continue this trajectory by further extension of CTED functionality, expanding the integration of Oncore? with CTED, and increasing the level of analytic and data systems support to the MCC research community.
Cancer Research Informatics and Services provides a variety of software tools to facilitate the clinical research of MCC investigators. These tools automate the storage, extraction, and analysis of patient information from a variety of sources.
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