The Project Data Sphere® Initiative Marks Initial Research Outcomes

Cancer research platform sees intensive first-year data collection effort followed by peer-reviewed research publication

CARY, N.C.--()--Following its one-year launch anniversary and the achievement of its goal of including data from 25,000 patient lives, Project Data Sphere, LLC (PDS), an independent not-for-profit initiative of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer’s Life Sciences Consortium (LSC), marked the publication of several peer-reviewed articles using academic and industry cancer clinical trial data from this innovative research library-laboratory.

Three peer-reviewed papers referencing The Project Data Sphere initiative appear in the May 2015; Vol. 20, No. 5; issue of The Oncologist. This follows a series of research abstracts which were published in conjunction with ASCO, the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Two of The Oncologist research papers focus on prostate cancer research, including the collaboration with Sage BioNetworks and the Prostate Cancer Foundation which led to the launch of The Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge. This effort marries crowdsourcing with data sharing, offering an innovative approach to tackle key research questions about metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), an advanced form of the disease with poor outcomes. There are currently nearly 450 solvers comprising 25 teams participating in The Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge. The first round of the Challenge closed this week and a leaderboard will soon be posted, allowing teams to compare their performances.

"The Project Data Sphere initiative is a great example of a precompetitive endeavor that will help us accelerate therapeutic breakthroughs," said Elias A. Zerhouni, MD, President of Global Research and Development, Sanofi and former Director, National Institutes of Health.

There are currently more than 900 authorized users on the platform with access to 49 data sets representing 27,000 patient lives across a broad array of cancer tumor areas. The site activity has increased significantly since its launch in April, 2014; more than 2,000 data downloads for research purposes have occurred since that time.

The achievement of these research milestones was made possible through collaborations with organizations which provided data and catalyzed the use of the platform for research innovation. Charter data providers include: AstraZeneca, Bayer, Celgene, Johnson & Johnson, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Pfizer and Sanofi. Most of these organizations also increased their level of data provision throughout the year. Additionally, the ranks of data providers grew to include other leading oncology research organizations such as: Amgen, EMD Serono, Lilly, Synta and The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, one of the five U.S. network groups of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Program.

“The Life Sciences Consortium has a record of catalyzing step change in the precompetitive space. The fact that so many companies have been willing to share such detailed cancer clinical trial information in an open access framework with the tools to interrogate this information intelligently has the potential to impact future clinical trial design in profound ways,” said Gregory Curt, MD, Executive Director, External Science and Clinical Relations, AstraZeneca Oncology.

In order to ensure that researchers can realize the full potential of this data, PDS teamed with CEO Roundtable on Cancer Member, SAS Institute Inc. SAS, a leader in data and health analytics, developed and hosts the site and provides free state-of-the-art analytic tools to registered users within the Project Data Sphere environment.

The broad-access approach of the Project Data Sphere® platform,, is bringing together diverse minds and technology to help unleash the full potential of existing clinical trial data and speed innovation by generating collective insights that may lead to improved trial design, modeling of disease progression and endpoints and entirely new research gleaned from applying advanced analytic technology to existing data.

About the CEO Roundtable on Cancer

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded in 2001, when former President George H.W. Bush challenged a group of executives to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families." The CEOs responded by creating and encouraging the widespread adoption of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ which calls for organizations to evaluate their health benefits and workplace culture and take extensive, concrete actions in five key areas of health and wellness to address cancer in the workplace. The Life Sciences Consortium (LSC) ( was formed by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer as a means of bringing together leading oncology pharmaceutical/ biotechnology companies to enable a transformation in research and development activities. Their aim is to deliver more effective oncology therapies to patients faster by collaborating on solving issues common to all cancer companies engaged in drug discovery and development that cannot be solved by any single company alone. An earlier outcome of the LSC was the creation of the Standard Terms of Agreement for Research Trial (START) clauses in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute. The creation of these “common language” contract templates aims to shorten the contract negotiation time prior to opening a clinical research trial. For more information, please visit

About Project Data Sphere, LLC

Project Data Sphere, LLC (PDS), an independent, not-for-profit initiative of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer’s Life Sciences Consortium (LSC), operates the Project Data Sphere platform ( which provides one place where the research community can broadly share, integrate and analyze historical, patient-level cancer phase III comparator-arm data with the goal of advancing future research to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families around the world.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 75,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

About Sage Bionetworks

Sage Bionetworks ( is a nonprofit biomedical research organization, founded in 2009, with a vision to promote innovations in personalized medicine by enabling a community-based approach to scientific inquiries and discoveries. In pursuit of this Mission, Sage Bionetworks is working with others, including the DREAM Initiative, to assemble an information Commons for biomedicine that (1) is supported by an open compute space (Synapse:, (2) supports open research collaborations and innovative DREAM Challenges, and (3) empowers citizens and patients with the tools to partner with researchers and share their data through Sage’s BRIDGE platform ( in order to drive the research studies that matter most to them. Sage Bionetworks is located on the campus of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and is supported through a portfolio of philanthropic donations, competitive research grants, and commercial partnerships.


Project Data Sphere, LLC
An initiative of the Life Sciences Consortium of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer
Michael Curnyn, 610-731-5862

Release Summary

The Project Data Sphere® initiative marks the publication of several peer-reviewed articles using academic and industry cancer clinical trial data from this innovative research library-laboratory.


Project Data Sphere, LLC
An initiative of the Life Sciences Consortium of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer
Michael Curnyn, 610-731-5862