CAVATICA is a cloud-based platform for collaboratively accessing, sharing, and analyzing pediatric cancer data

In October of 2016, D³b launched Cavatica, an open-access, cloud-based, biomedical data-analysis platform created in partnership with Seven Bridges as part of the White House’s launch of the Precision Medicine Initiative. Named after author E.B. White’s character, Charlotte A. Cavatica, the titular spider in the children’s story Charlotte’s Web, Cavatica enables clinicians and scientists across CHOP and throughout the world to rapidly access large amounts of raw genomic data. Much like Charlotte, Cavatica is creating a “web,” or diverse network, of information about pediatric diseases which is accessible in an individualized workspace environment. Cavatica provides researchers with a computation and storage environment where they can process, integrate, and analyze data in the cloud, reducing the time required to transform data into information and knowledge.

Cavatica enables researchers to analyze data through portable, shareable, and reproducible workflows to discover the shared mutations or characteristics across many different diseases. The data collectively represent contributions of more than 40 pediatric hospitals and covers a range of illnesses including cancer, congenital disorders, epilepsy, and autism.

Cavatica was created from the desire for secure platforms where large-scale data could be de-siloed and used collaboratively for research across institutions. Cavatica enables researchers to analyze data through harmonized and reproducible workflows to discover the shared characteristics or links across many different disease types.

Additionally, Cavatica interoperates with the Cancer Genomics Cloud, also powered by Seven Bridges, allowing approved researchers to securely access to National Cancer Institute datasets available through the Cancer Research Data Commons. This enables cancer data to interoperate across both adult and pediatric data, as well as across both NIH and consortia-based datasets, for the first time.

Cavatica supports the Gabriella Miller Kids First Data Resource Center (Kids First DRC), and its associated portals which are expanding to include more than 25,000 patients and family members.

As part of the launch of the Kids First DRC, Cavatica was further integrated with the University of Chicago-managed Bionimbus, powered by the Gen3 software platform, which provides authorization/authentication to users as a National Institutes of Health Trusted Partner. Cavatica and Gen3 integration allow registered users to perform a variety of research tasks seamlessly, including the ability to: identify data of interest to them within the Kids First DRC; create a virtual cohort based on their search; request access to the files via dbGaP; and, upon access approval, immediately import the genomic files of interest into a new Cavatica project to perform further analysis. Cavatica eliminates data transfer times that historically took days or weeks to complete, and allows instant access to approved users. Cavatica also provides the capacity for users to upload their own data and conduct analysis confidentially within controlled workspaces, while also working alongside the publicly available data.


BioIT_Best in show

Cavatica was awarded Best-in-Show at the 2017 Bio-IT World Conference and was a highlighted partner of the Biden Cancer Moonshot. Over the next year, Cavatica will expand and interoperate with other cloud providers, including the Google Cloud, in an effort to focus on integration opportunities with the NIH Data landscape and test deployments across additional, global, cloud environments.

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