Data-integration platform for cancer research: cBioportal demo

The CORBEL webinar series continues with a presentation by Noriko A. Cassman, from the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI).
Participants will be introduced to the data-integration platform cBioPortal. Here, different sources of research data (clinical, imaging, biosample and experimental) of a study are integrated, enabling viewing, querying and analysis.

This webinar is aimed at data managers, researchers, PhD students and postdocs involved in clinical, translational and biomedical research.

Improvements in sequencing technologies have led to a deluge of genomics data in many fields of research. Specifically, the increasing size of cancer-related genomics datasets require comprehensive software solutions that remain accessible to clinical researchers. Clearly, there is an obvious need for tools that integrate genomics and other molecular biology results with the phenotypic and clinical outcome data. During this webinar, the cBio Cancer Genomics Portal (cBioPortal) will be introduced through a practical use case.

The cBioPortal is an open source data integration platform that enables researchers to view, query, analyse and share complex genomic cancer datasets in a user-friendly manner. The platform was originally developed by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA)1 and is actively maintained and further developed by an international community. The original instance of cBioPortal ( currently provides access to data from almost 83000 tumor samples from 273 public studies.

The demo will include:

·       short introduction on the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable)

·       navigation through a public study on the data-integration platform cBioPortal

·       recreation of select plots from publications of interest using cBioPortal functionalities

The CORBEL webinar series aims to address challenges and share best practice between biological and medical research infrastructures. The series is aimed at technical operators of RIs and is aligned with the CORBEL competency framework.

CORBEL webinars include an audience Q&A session during which attendees can ask questions and make suggestions. Please note that all webinars are recorded and available for posterior viewing.

This webinar took place on 26 March 2020 and is part of the CORBEL webinar series. It is best viewed in full screen mode using Google Chrome. The slides from this webinar can be downloaded from SlideShare here.

1. Cerami et al. (2012). The cBio Cancer Genomics Portal: An Open Platform for Exploring Multidimensional Cancer Genomics Data. Cancer Discovery 2(5): 401–404.

About the speaker...

Noriko A. Cassman, PhD is a Bioinformatician at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI-AVL). In 2008, she graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry and psychology from Florida Tech (Melbourne, Florida, USA). In 2013, after completing a Masters thesis in viral metagenomics, she earned a MSc in Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics from San Diego State University (SDSU, San Diego, California, USA). While at SDSU she helped to teach a hands-on sequencing and genomics course featuring 454, Ion Torrent and Illumina technologies. More recently, Noriko achieved her PhD from the University of Leiden (Leiden, NL) in 2019 with research in soil microbial ecology conducted at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (Wageningen, NL). Later in 2019, she began working in the Pathology department in the Translational Gastrointestinal Oncology research group headed by Gerrit Meijer. As a part of the data team, she applies her genomics knowledge to the analysis and integration of oncological data to help build sustainable and robust research infrastructures for translational cancer research.