AACR 2014, Data Complexity and a Host of Ingenious Genomic Presentations

It was a real pleasure for the QIAGEN Silicon Valley team to attend this year’s annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego. AACR can always be relied on for top-notch posters and presentations illustrating the cutting edge in oncology, from basic and translational research all the way through to clinical trials.

A tour of the poster sessions was particularly gratifying for us.  Dozens of AACR posters reported results from Ingenuity Pathway Analysis or Ingenuity Variant Analysis. We are always proud of the scientific tools we’ve built, but there’s nothing quite like seeing really smart researchers deploying them in ways we never even dreamed of – it is a great motivator for the team here to know we are helping to make a contribution to the community.  The conference program reflected a remarkable range of applying genomics and proteomics to cancer research.  There was no shortage of presentations about genomic-driven investigations or patient studies looking at genetic alterations and therapeutic response.  If we needed any evidence, it was clear from AACR that genomic technologies in particular are growing as invaluable tools in the lab and the clinic.

Among so many thought provoking, ingenious sessions, it would be difficult to choose one favorite session, but one great lineup came during a forum entitled “How to Achieve a Cancer Knowledge Commons Database of Cancer Genetics” that was moderated by Tom Hudson of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and included David Haussler from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Gaddy Getz from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.  In a remark that nicely summed up the challenge of genomic data interpretation in cancer research, Hudson said, “Cancer is the high-water mark for genomics due to its complexity; other diseases cost less for data storage and analysis.”

The challenges inherent in building databases, storing the data, and interpreting them is no secret.  It’s something that we’ve been working on for a long time.  One of the primary ways we have been supporting leading-edge cancer researchers is by keeping pace with cancer-related findings in the biomedical literature, and integrating databases of high-quality, relevant, gene-to-disease associations into the Ingenuity Knowledge Base.


Scientific poster presented at AACR 2014 by Jean-Noel Billaud

Also during AACR2014, Ingenuity Scientist, Jean-Noel Billaud, presented – ‘Sample & Assay Technologies Integrated microRNA and mRNA signature associated with the transition from the locally confined to the metastasized renal cell carcinoma’.  Click here to download the PDF

For those of you who couldn’t be there this year, AACR has posted a nice collection of (free!) presentations from the meeting. Click here to access the presentations.   Many thanks to all of the AACR attendees who took the time to stop by our booth and learn more about Ingenuity Knowledge Base and how to use the Ingenuity product line in cancer research.

What was your experience at AACR 2014 and what was your biggest takeaway?  Share with us in the comments below.