On March 1, the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) announced that its Data Access Compliance Office (DACO) authorized its 1,000th user, giving them access to the Consortium’s Controlled Access datasets. This shows that more authorized researchers are accessing ICGC’s Controlled Access data for their research, using these datasets as the foundation for the next generation of cancer diagnostics and treatments.
“This is a great achievement that demonstrates how scientific collaboration can drive innovation and strengthen Ontario’s reputation as a leader in cancer research. I’m pleased Ontario’s researchers are leveraging the ICGC data and I’m excited to see how this will lead to future cancer diagnostics and treatments for patients in Ontario and potentially around the globe,” says Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation.
Although ICGC datasets catalogue tumour-specific mutations that are unrestricted and available to the scientific community, it has introduced an authorization process to grant access to clinical and inherited genetic data associated with unique individuals. This minimizes the risk of identification of donors based on computer analyses of demographic, clinical or genetic data.
“ICGC is supported and framed by robust ethics policies and procedures that ensure governance while facilitating access,” says Bartha Knoppers, Chair of the ICGC Ethics and Governance Committee and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. “Today’s milestone is proof of its success.”
ICGC has received commitments for 88 project teams in 17 jurisdictions to study more than 25,000 tumour genomes from various funding organizations in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.