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caCDE-QA: A Quality Assurance Platform for Cancer Study Common Data Elements

Specific Aims

  • Domain-specific Common Data Elements (CDEs) are emerging as an effective approach to standards-based clinical research data storage and retrieval and have been broadly adopted. For example, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) created the Cancer Data Standards Repository (caDSR) based on the ISO/IEC 11179 standard for metadata repositories. However, cancer clinical research community faces significant challenges related to scalability, governance, and data quality for CDE modeling. In particular, the lack of robust, principled and automated quality assurance (QA) algorithms contributes to CDE content errors that can have a significant negative impact on downstream CDE uses.
  • Our proposed approach is to design, develop and evaluate an integrative platform known as caCDE-QA that implements a suite of QA tools to audit experimental cancer study CDEs represented in a semantic web framework, deploying a QA web-portal with standard semantic services for community collaboration.
  • Our specific aims are:
    • (1) To develop a suite of QA tools for validation and harmonization of cancer study CDEs;
    • (2) To apply the QA tools to audit experimental cancer study CDEs represented in a semantic web framework;
    • (3) To deploy and evaluate a QA web-portal for collaborative CDE review and harmonization.
  • This project will contribute novel QA methods and tools for validation and semantic harmonization of cancer study CDEs. This is of great significance in that it will be enabling efficient CDE modeling and producing high-quality reusable CDEs, which are critical for facilitating cancer clinical research data sharing and accelerating systematic clinical outcomes capturing.


  • The project described is supported by Grant Number 1U01CA180940-01A1 from the National Cancer Institute at the US National Institutes of Health. This work is part of the NCI's Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) Initiative ( The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Who We Are

  • Mayo Clinic
    • Guoqian Jiang, MD, PhD (PI)
    • Harold Solbrig
    • Christopher Chute, MD, Dr. PH
  • Columbia University
    • Chunhua Weng, PhD
  • The University of Texas (UTHealth)
    • Cui Tao, PhD
  • CIMI Adviser
    • Stan Huff, MD
  • CDISC Adviser
    • Rebecca Kush, PhD
  • TCGA Adviser
    • Julie M. Gastier-Foster, Ph.D., FACMG

Meeting Notes


If you need assistance and/or if you have questions about the project, feel free to send e-mail to Jiang.Guoqian at mayo dot edu.

Getting started