World Cancer Day 2023: How software and genomic databases are helping close the care gap


QIAGEN Digital Insights

World Cancer Day 2023: How software and genomic databases are helping close the care gap

In 2022, the world crossed a sobering new threshold. Over 20 million people were diagnosed with cancer, and 10 million died (1). On World Cancer Day, learn how QIAGEN Digital Insights is helping bring the power of precision medicine to everyone.

Around the world, we measure advances in cancer in differnt ways.

Advances are reflected in the life of a mother in America, who is raising her young children as an immunotherapeutic drug halts the progression of her breast cancer. They can be seen in a child in Europe, surviving leukemia thanks to a drug tailored to his specific type. They can also be observed in a teenager in Brazil, receiving a vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the hope of preventing cervical cancer.

The tremendous progress in the fight against cancer is largely thanks to the global science community, who has come together to tackle one of the greatest challenges in history. February 4th is World Cancer Day, a global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), to raise awareness, improve education, and take individual and collective action to improve cancer prevention, detection, treatment and survival.

And on this day, we want to highlight how QIAGEN Digital Insights is helping to close the cancer care gap with informatic software and genomic databases.

Disparities in cancer outcomes

The field of oncology is rapidly changing. Not only is treatment becoming more precise, but the speed of innovation is compounding each year. As a greater number of targeted therapies come to market, more cancer patients are receiving personalized treatments and have real hope for improved outcomes.

However, the majority of cancer patients do not experience that hope.  Today, academic medical centers typically only offer personalized treatments.  Yet, community hospitals treat more than 80% of cancer patients in the United States (2).

The disparity between who receives a targeted therapy and who undergoes a “one-size-fits-all” chemo regimen is the result of limited access to next-generation sequencing (NGS), up-to-date and comprehensive evidence, and clinical trials—the three core components of precision oncology.

Empowering community-based cancer care

Large cancer centers and academic institutions routinely offer NGS testing. Many of them conduct comprehensive genomic profiling and whole-exome or whole-genome sequencing. These facilities have state-of-the-art diagnostic labs with the latest NGS technology, teams of variant scientists, curators, and clinicians, and access to molecular tumor boards to help guide treatment decisions.

On the other hand, community hospital labs are only beginning to offer NGS testing. In a 2017 survey, community hospital labs cited cost as the main hurdle to implementing a precision oncology program (3). But it’s not just the cost of the NGS technology or setting up the lab that’s prohibitive. Rather, it’s the cost of operation and the cost of staying current.

For a community hospital lab to offer rapid precision oncology testing for large NGS panels at the same level as academic institutions, it would need substantial investment in personnel and supporting resources, such as highly skilled variant scientists and curators, access to molecular tumor boards, and subscriptions to databases. Therefore, community hospital labs need solutions that can bring the resources, expertise, and experience of large cancer canters directly into their workflows.

The key to precision medicine

QIAGEN Clinical Insight (QCI) Interpret for Oncology is a clinical decision support platform that enables community hospital labs to perform comprehensive genomic profiling with speed, accuracy, and confidence. With QCI Interpret, labs access the QIAGEN Knowledge Base—the equivalent of having 200 variant scientists in the lab. This ensures oncologists at community hospitals have the most precise, informative, and up-to-date reports and treatment recommendations for their patients.

Trusted by clinical diagnostic labs around the world, QCI Interpret has been used to analyze and interpret over 3 million NGS patient test cases globally to date

QIAGEN Knowledge Base at a glance:
- Encompasses over 40 databases
- Contains 2 decades of data
- Maintained by hundreds of certified MD- and PhD-level expert curators
- Over 5,000 new findings added daily
- Contains evidence from literature, clinical and functional studies, on-/off-label drugs
- Includes professional guidelines (NCCN, AMP/ASCO/CAP, WHO)
- Updates worldwide open and recruiting clinical trials weekly

Powering action through insight

QIAGEN Digital Insights also offers licenses to genomic databases that can supplement a lab’s current variant interpretation platform with trusted, expert-curated content.

  • Catalogue Of Somatic Mutations In Cancer (COSMIC) – The world’s largest and most comprehensive resource for exploring the impact of somatic mutations in human cancer.  Wellcome Sanger Institute owns and manages COSMIC. However, QIAGEN licenses the databases.
  • Human Somatic Mutation Database (HSMD) – A new somatic database from QIAGEN containing extensive genomic content relevant to solid tumors and hematological malignancies. HSMD contains content from over 419,000 real-world clinical oncology cases. Plus, the database curates literature to characterize over 1.5 million somatic variants in 1,400 cancer-related genes.
  • Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD) Professional – The world’s largest, manually curated resource for finding disease-causing mutations.  Cardiff University manages and maintains the database.  HGMD Professional attempts to collate all known (published) gene lesions responsible for human inherited disease.*

*Today, clinical diagnostic labs use genomic assays that characterize somatic and germline defects in individual tumor samples.

World Cancer Day 2023 QIAGEN

Closing the care gap

“Close the care gap” is the slogan for World Cancer Day 2023. This campaign calls everyone, collectively and individually, to commit to strengthen actions aimed to improve access to quality care, including screening, early detection, treatment and care. 

At QIAGEN Digital Insights, our informatic software solutions are helping bring the power of precision medicine to everyone. Through genomic insight and advanced technologies, we are helping to accelerate access to targeted therapies for all patients, regardless of where they live.

Learn more here.


  1. “World Cancer Day 2023.” Pan American Health Organization. 2 February 2023:
  2. Huey RW, Hawk E, Anaez C, et al: Mind the Gap: Precision Oncology and Its Potential to Widen Disparities. Journal of Oncology Practice (2019) 15:6, 301-304.
  3. Ersek JL, Nadler E, Freeman-Daily J, et al: Clinical Pathways and the Patient Perspective in the Pursuit of Value-Based Oncology Care. American Society of Clinical Oncology (2017), 597-606.

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