Provide and maintain the technical interface for the joint database
The CCP IT is one of four essential Task Forces providing the technical interface for the connection of all local databases.
As central communication interface of the consortium, the CCP developed a technical and communication infrastructure that connects the local databases of partner sites such as biobanks, clinical registries and clinical trial information and provides access for all DKTK scientists through elaborated search tools. These tools will allow users to find and request both biomaterial and accompanying information about clinical data, biomaterials and trials from the whole consortium in order to plan and realize joint projects.
The CCP IT is a team of IT specialists that is responsible for the development and implementation of IT solutions regarding the technical aspects of data harmonization inside the consortium. Therefore, the CCP IT designed an appropriate IT infrastructure enabling all partner sites to provide clinical and biomaterial data of cancer patients, scientific data, and describing data of clinical studies to the consortium by deploying a locally so-called bridgehead. The bridgehead is a set of software components and acts as an interface that creates the technical and semantic interoperability between heterogeneous databases of the partner sites to makes relevant data available to the consortium.
The whole IT infrastructure has both central components, which are operated in Frankfurt, Mainz and Heidelberg, as well as the bridgeheads as decentral components, which are operated under the sovereignty of every partner site. The data protection and its sovereignty in the IT infrastructure are regulated in a general data protection concept that complies with the German data protection requirements.
The IT structure allows scientists via two different mechanisms to search through available data to obtain meaningful information for the planning and performance of scientific projects as well as clinical trials:
- A central search tool instantly delivers results only for project planning and clinical trials feasibility based on aggregated and consented datasets which are regularly uploaded to a central database. A central identity management allows linkage of datasets from different DKTK sites belonging to the same patient. To comply with German data protection laws, this only includes data of patients who have explicitly given their consent to the central identity management. Next, the so-called decentral search tool will be used to formulate an inquiry.
- The decentral search tool relies on the principle of an inquiry which is formulated centrally and retrieved from all bridgeheads of all partner sites afterwards. The search takes place in the context of a specific application for the respective data or material. The applications are administered by a central project management located at the CCP Coordination Office, but decisions on cooperation belong totally to the local sites: Without an approval of local committees, no data or material is leaving the site.
For further information, the concept of the CCP IT as well as the concept of data protection and the vote of the TMF data protection working group on the concept can be found here.
Dr Martin Lablans (Heidelberg)
Prof Frank Ückert (Heidelberg)
Experts of the Task Force CCP IT
- Esmeralda Heiden, Dietmar Keune (Berlin)
- Hagen Schulz (Dresden)
- Frank Ressing (Essen)
- Azita Ahmadi, Daniel Brucker (Frankfurt)
- Martin Boeker, Siegbert Schmid (Freiburg)
- Jürgen Eils*, Mathias Wieland (Heidelberg)
- Torsten Panholzer (Mainz)
- Corinna Eichelser, Michael Specht (München LMU/TU)
- Öznur Öner (Tübingen)
*Expertise in joint database/central search tool