PrecisionProfile Dramatically Saves Time and Effort in Cancer Research with Paxata Data Prep
By Farnaz Erfan
February is National Cancer Prevention Month. With over 1.7 million new cancer diagnoses annually in the United States alone, the critical work done by oncologists and research scientists to combat this devastating disease cannot be understated.
Fortunately, with modern advances in medical science such as molecular profiling of patients, data is plentiful – whether it is genomics, clinical, or patient data. However, while this proliferation of useful data is extremely beneficial, properly handling this data is becoming a major issue for many researchers. Because rather than spending their time analyzing the data and formulating how they can leverage it to save lives, many scientists are instead wasting precious hours preparing and massaging the data before analysis can even be conducted.
Time is extremely precious in the life-and-death world of cancer research, and PrecisionProfile, a bioinformatics technology company, sought to minimize the time required for oncologists and research scientists to thoroughly analyze genomic profiles and to create personalized treatment plans for cancer patients. In many cases, cancer studies require teams of research, clinical, and informatics experts to manage data from a multitude of web-based and internal clinic information systems. Genomic, demographics, clinical and genetics data are usually highly diverse, exceedingly complex, and come from various sources in different formats.
Researchers traditionally use Excel or Perl scripts to bring these different data sources together, flatten XML structures, parse delimited files, and compare the profile of a given patient to a cohort of other patients – a manual and time-consuming process. Additionally, most researchers lack the data science skills required with traditional data prep and ETL solutions.
PrecisionProfile aspired to design and develop a platform that would significantly reduce the time, effort, and data science expertise required for scientific analysis and cancer research. PrecisionProfile aimed for a platform that would accelerate the research cycle for testing new drugs and combinations of therapies, and they needed a self-service data prep solution to expedite the process.
Ultimately, PrecisionProfile selected Paxata to make their data usable more quickly and easily, enabling oncologists to smoothly compare each patient with large cohorts of other patients and target third-party references and knowledge databases to devise the best treatment strategy with the greatest chance to succeed.
For example, with Paxata, a genome clinical study that typically required 1-3 months of work was reduced to 2-8 hours. And a PrecisionProfile client foresaw a research project that was originally envisaged to be a 3-year project to be completed in only 2 years.
Importantly, with the new PrecisionProfile solution powered by Paxata, researchers, oncologists and academic professors now have a platform for collaboration and standardization. Because many sequences and processes in research are repeatable, scientists today can replicate a specific sequence for new sets of demographics or drugs as new cancer types, patients, and clinical data become available.
Paxata is honored that our self-service data prep solution is contributing to the life-saving efforts of companies like PrecisionProfile, during National Cancer Prevention Month and year-round.
To learn more, download the case study.