A major need in cancer research is the development of non-invasive cancer detection and monitoring methods. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is DNA that has escaped from tumor cells and is free-floating in the bloodstream, meaning that genetic information about the developing tumor can be obtained without the need to invasively extract tumor tissue. cBioPortal wants to display the insights obtained from these “liquid biopsies” onto their existing Patient View page. I propose to create a global view of ctDNA information by modifying their existing Genomic Overview to display allele frequencies, allowing users to identify at a glance mutated genes of interest. Mutated genes can be tracked by clicking on the gene, which would display a plot of the gene’s mutation concentration over time. A heatmap of selected genes can also be generated to monitor tumor heterogeneity over time. Another feature could consist of plots to track whether a mutated gene produces a differential time to relapse or survival time compared to the unaltered gene. By visualizing ctDNA results on the cBioPortal interface, I can participate in adding an exciting new clinician tool for personalized cancer genomics.

Student

Pamela Wu

Mentors

  • JJ Gao
  • inodb
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2017