Be the first to like this
The Australian node of the Human Variome Project (HVPA) has established systems and processes for capturing, curating, interpreting and sharing genetic variant information for diagnostic, treatment and research purposes. To support the accurate interpretation of variant information, linkage to clinical treatment and outcomes data from relevant health service providers is required. Unfortunately, the required clinical data is not collected systematically within the Australian healthcare system and linkage of such data is beyond the scope and resources currently available to HVPA.
HVPA has partnered with BioGrid Australia, an independent not-for-profit organisation that provides a framework and infrastructure for data linkage and sharing that addresses patient privacy, data security, ethical issues and intellectual property concerns. Importantly, BioGrid’s vision and mission closely align with that of the Human Variome Project. Furthermore, BioGrid has existing relationships with, and linkages to clinical data from, numerous healthcare service providers, research institutes and universities around Australia.
While BioGrid’s governance and legal framework, coupled with its existing infrastructure, provides the requisite platform to achieving national linkage of clinical data with the HVPA collected variant data, this requires time and significant stakeholder engagement to achieve. However, within the existing network of HVPA and BioGrid collaborators, we are currently undertaking a project to demonstrate the real potential value of data linkages for clinical and research purposes.
A number of clinicians treating colorectal cancer at The Royal Melbourne Hospital are existing collaborators of both HVPA and BioGrid, providing an excellent opportunity to examine the potential benefits of data linkage. The pilot project is seeking to link deidentified, patient record level data from a range of sources with the goal of determining the depth and breadth of clinical data available for patients with specified variants at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. The secondary goal of this project is to determine whether, on review by subject matter experts, this clinical information can be used to support the determination of the pathogenicity of identified variants. We will discuss progress towards the first goal, however a detailed discussion of the second goal is beyond the scope of this abstract.
By using existing clinical datasets and BioGrid’s data linkage platform to integrate de-identified, patient record level clinical and genetic data, HVPA can efficiently build a national capability to capture, curate and interpret genetic variant information. Further leveraging BioGrid’s online data access application system that incorporates scientific review with ethics committee oversight, HVPA can also ensure that data is shared with authorised users for approved diagnostic, treatment and research purposes.