With support from the George Regents Health System, Augusta University (AU) has 478 beds in the AU Health Medical Center and 154 beds at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Lead PI on the AU network, Dr. Roni Bollag, has been helpful in expanding the TCRN. AU has since de-identified over 200,000 reports, which includes autopsy, surgical, bone marrow, and cytology, and around 10 active users. Using reports from the Georgia Cancer Center, Augusta University hopes to conduct research focused in cancer immunology inflammation and tolerance cancer prevention and control, molecular oncology and biomarkers, and tumor signaling and angiogenesis. Their current pilot project deals with the demographic characterization of tenosynovial giant cell tumors.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute:
Located in New York, Roswell Park Cancer Institute is NCI designated and a free standing cancer center. The Center has 26 active users and has successfully de-identified over 195,000 reports. Dr. Carmelo Gaudioso, lead PI for the site, helped bring the TIES software to Roswell Park in September 2015. Since then the first paper by an external investigator, Thaer Khoury, was accepted in the Breast Journal entitled “The Role of Skin Ulceration in Breast Carcinoma Staging and Outcome.” Other pilot projects include research gene expression in endometriosis and endometriosis associated ovarian cancer, margin evaluation in early carcinomas of the oral tongue, and skin cancer in post-transplant patients.
University of Pennsylvania:
One of the earlier adopters of TIES research, the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is NCI designated and houses one of the oldest medical schools in the United States. The university, led by Lead PI Dr. Michael Feldman since 2004, has coded 940,000 de-identified records from the local Medview and Penn Medicine Hospitals and has around 35 active users. The research conducted out of the university using the TIES software includes the Rosai Dorfman Disease and Breast Papilloma. The University of Pennsylvania’s team has grown throughout the last decade and has helped push TIES forward as it keeps increasing its overall de-identified reports.
University of Pittsburgh:
The original founding University of the TIES and TCRN network, the University of Pittsburgh has come a long way since 2002. The NCI designated 20+ hospital group currently has de-identified nearly 24 million radiology reports and almost 5 million pathology reports with the help of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Lead PI Rebecca Jacobson, MD, MS, has been instrumental in growing the TCRN and developing the TIES software. With more active users constantly growing than any other TIES TCRN network site, the University of Pittsburgh has been able to conduct significant research on several different types of cancer. A marker paper describing the network entitled, “A Federated Network for Translational Cancer Research Using Clinical Data and Biospecimens,” grew out of the TCRN.
Thomas Jefferson University:
The newest active member to the TCRN, Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania, became an official member on May 25, 2016. Lead PI, Dr. Jack London, helped gain traction for the TCRN node and has since pushed for further users to join the network. The university has also begun the de-identification for their surgical, cytology, biopsies, autopsies, and molecular reports on nearly 950,000 reports from 2004 to present day with the help of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. Eventually, the group will go on to extract reports form the Epic system, which is an electronic health record database using the Extract, Translate, Load (ETL) method.
Stony Brook University:
Having just gotten approval through their IRB to start TIES, Stony Brook University located in New York, has high hopes for expanding the TCRN. Using two different TIES repositories with over 603 beds and treating 2,600 cancer patients a year, Stony Brook plans to use one live TIES network of de-identified pathology reports and slide images for users within the TIES network and another sandbox repository to develop new processes and methods. The group, led by head PI Dr. Joel Saltz, also has plans to de-identify just over 600,000 surgical pathology reports from 1980 to now using the coPATH system. Since the launch of their node is still several months away, the team has been working internally to identify key quality assurance personnel, domain experts, and replicate consortium guidelines toward personnel and internal policies.