Precision medicine refers to the use of prevention and treatment strategies that are tailored to the unique features of each individual and their disease. In the context of cancer this might involve the identification of specific mutations shown to predict response to a targeted therapy. The biomedical literature describing these associations is large and growing rapidly. Realizing precision medicine will require this information to be centralized, debated and interpreted for application in the clinic. Currently these interpretations exist largely in private or encumbered databases resulting in extensive repetition of effort. To address this challenge we have released CIViC, an open access, open source, community-driven web resource for Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer. Our goal is to enable precision medicine by providing an educational forum for dissemination of knowledge and active discussion of the clinical significance of cancer genome alterations.
Guiding principles of CIViC:
- The interpretations of clinical actionability required to enable precision medicine should be freely available and openly discussed across a diverse community.
- An interdisciplinary approach is needed to combine the expertise of genome scientists and health care providers, whose efforts are otherwise often isolated.
- Content should be created with transparency, kept current, be comprehensive, track provenance, and acknowledge the efforts of creators.
- The interface should be both structured enough to allow computational data mining and agile enough to handle the product of openly-debated, human interpretation.
- CIViC is committed to provide unencumbered and efficient access to community-driven curation and interpretation of cancer mutations. Curated knowledge will remain free and can be accessed anonymously without login unless the user wishes to contribute to content.
- To encourage both academic and commercial engagement CIViC is released with minimal restrictions under a Creative Commons license (CC0). No fees or exclusive access will be introduced. While sharing improvements is strongly encouraged, the data can be adopted and used for nearly any purpose including the creation of commercial applications derived from the knowledge. We require only that attribution be given to the community that created the content.