As part of the Cancer Moonshot Program, a network of the Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Centers (CIMACs) and the Cancer Immunologic Data Commons (CIDC) is aimed to advance new immunotherapy treatments to provide greater benefit for cancer patients.
Cancer Immunotherapies have emerged as highly promising approaches to treat cancer patients, by harnessing the patient’s own immune system to attack their cancer. However, the clinical efficacy is limited to a minority of cancer patients and it is difficult to predict which patients will derive the most clinical benefit. Thus, new approaches to improve and advance immunotherapies are critically needed.
The NCI recognizes these challenges and has accordingly established the CIMAC-CIDC Network. The CIMAC-CIDC Network is composed of four laboratories (Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Centers, CIMACs) and a biomarker data storage/access platform (Cancer Immunologic Data Commons, CIDC), to enable systematic incorporation of biomarker studies associated with NCI-supported clinical trials involving immunotherapy. The overall goal for the CIMAC-CIDC Network is to advance translational research efforts using biomarkers to aid in the further development of cancer immunotherapy.
Within the network, each of the four CIMACs consists of a multidisciplinary group with basic, clinical, and computational research knowledge and offers a wide range of molecular and cell-based analyses using state-of-the- art platforms. This application of their individual expertise allows for the development of informative biomarker tests to tailor immunotherapy to individual patients. The information from each of the CIMACs all merge into the Cancer Immunology Data Commons (CIDC), located at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which functions as a data repository for biomarkers and associated clinical data. The CIDC also provides an informatics environment for integrative multidimensional data analysis and visualization across different studies.
Using the benefits acquired through collaborative efforts within the participating institutions, the CIMAC-CIDC Network has the capacity to achieve this goal and therefore, further the integration and translation of a wide range of research findings to dramatically improve the quality of immunotherapy for cancer patients.