American Statistical Association
New York City
Metropolitan Area Chapter

Biostatistics Seminar Series
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Nikolaus Schultz, Ph.D.


Prospective sequencing of tumors is an integral component of routine cancer care for a growing number of patients. However, interpretation of the prognostic and therapeutic significance of potentially clinically actionable genomic alterations remains a challenge. To meet the need for a comprehensive resource that provides modern, reliable and timely information to clinicians and patients, we developed OncoKB, an expert-guided precision oncology knowledge base. OncoKB annotates the biological and oncogenic effect for each molecular alteration as well as its prevalence and prognostic information. Associated potential treatment implications are also provided and graded by the level of evidence based on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, disease-focused expert group recommendations and the scientific literature. To date, we have annotated ~3000 unique alterations (mutations, fusions, and copy number alterations) in 418 cancer-associated genes, including specific alterations in 17 genes that predict response to standard-of-care FDA-approved therapies, and alterations in 25 genes that suggest the off-label use of an FDA-approved or investigational agent via participation in a clinical trial. To test the utility of the OncoKB levels of evidence classification system, we annotated all genomic events in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data set of 5,834 primary tumor samples in 18 cancer types and showed that 42% of all samples harbor at least one actionable alteration, of which 7.5% were associated with a standard-of-care treatment.

OncoKB annotation is available through a public web resource ( and are also incorporated into the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics to facilitate the interpretation of genomic alterations in patients. Both systems include a comment feature to facilitate crowd sourcing curation of this knowledge base, providing an opportunity for contribution and feedback by the cancer oncology and research community.

Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Time: 4:00 - 5:00 P.M.
Location: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
485 Lexington Avenue
(Between 46th & 47th Streets)
2nd Floor
Conference Room B
New York, New York 10017

**Note: Outside visitors please email, for building access. You must be on the security list to enter the floor.

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