Childhood cancers are driven by unique profiles of somatic genetic alterations, with a significant contribution from predisposing germline variants. Understanding the genomic landscape of pediatric cancers is complicated by their rarity, the heterogeneity of variation within a given disease, and the complex forms of structural variation they contain. Variants in childhood disease may differ from those in adult versions of the same cancer type, or may have different clinical significance. Currently, pediatric variants are underrepresented in cancer variant databases, and an urgent need exists for their publicly available expert curation. To address this, the Pediatric Cancer Taskforce (PCT) was formed within the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Somatic Cancer Clinical Domain Working Group (CDWG) (https://www.clinicalgenome.org/working-groups/somatic/). The PCT is a multi-institutional group of 39 members with broad experience in childhood cancer and variant curation, whose work consists of standardization and classification of genetic variants in pediatric cancers. The CIViC knowledgebase (www.civicdb.org) is a freely available resource for Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer, which leverages public curation and expert moderation to address the problem of annotating the large volume of clinically actionable cancer variants. PCT curators work together with PCT expert members and the CIViC team on variant curation, and have submitted over 230 Evidence Items and over 10 Assertions to CIViC. To further address issues specific to pediatric curation, the PCT is working with CIViC to develop new pediatric-specific CIViC features and modifications of the data model that will aid in pediatric curation. A pediatric user interface, as well as representation of large scale structural and copy number variation are being developed for version two of CIViC, expected to be released in 1-2 years, which will enable curation of a new class of structural variants often encountered in pediatric cancer. A novel standard operating procedure for childhood cancer curation in CIViC is being developed by PCT experts, curators and the CIViC team. This SOP will cover topics including curation of structural variants, as well as pediatric-specific variant tiering guidelines which take into account the sparse nature of evidence in pediatric cases. A companion resource, CIViCmine (http://bionlp.bcgsc.ca/civicmine/), will be further developed to incorporate pediatric data. These and other joint efforts of the PCT and CIViC will significantly enhance pediatric variant representation for public use, to support the care of children with cancer.
Citation Format: Arpad Danos, Wan-Hsin Lin, Jason Saliba, Angshumoy Roy, Alanna J. Church, Shruti Rao, Deborah Ritter, Kilannin Krysiak, Alex Wagner, Erica Barnell, Lana Sheta, Adam Coffman, Susanna Kiwala, Joshua F. McMichael, Laura Corson, Kevin Fisher, Heather E. Williams, Matthew Hiemenz, Katherine A. Janeway, Jianling Ji, Kesserwan A. Chimene, Laura Fuqua, Lisa Dyer, Huiling Xu, Jeffrey Jean, Laveniya Satgunaseelan, Liying Zhang, Ted W. Laetsch, Donald W. Parsons, Ryan Schmidt, Lynn M. Schriml, Kristen L. Sund, Shashikant Kulkarni, Subha Madhavan, Xinjie Xu, Rashmi Kanagal-Shamana, Marian Harris, Yasmine Akkari, Nurit Paz Yacov, Panieh Terraf, Malachi Griffith, Obi L. Griffith, Gordana Raca. Advancing knowledgebase representation of pediatric cancer variants through ClinGen/CIViC collaboration [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021; 2021 Apr 10-15 and May 17-21. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(13_Suppl):Abstract nr 210.