STTR Innovation Laboratory: Bringing Lab to Life

In precision medicine, doctors design treatments that are uniquely targeted to combat tumor growth and recurrence while minimizing side effects and risk. This is done by finding tumor-specific genetic alterations that allow for uncontrollable cancerous growth and customizing therapies that block this function.

Our goal is to equip both researchers and doctors alike with the necessary tools and resources to discover, develop, and implement first class treatment strategies to revolutionize personalized patient care. To address the physical barriers of collaboration, STTR is developing a number of unique tools.




Through its easy point-and-click browser interface, Oncoscape will become an essential tool for doctors and researchers interested in:

  • Comparing patients or populations across an array of features, like genetic alterations (CNV, IHC, sequencing, expression) or clinical elements (treatment regimens, diagnostics, outcomes)
  • Defining cohorts based on selected traits – identifying “patients like me”
  • Aligning patient histories according to timeline events: diagnosis, treatment, progression, survival
  • Performing powerful and integrated statistical analysis: Principle Component Analysis, Partial least squares regression, Kaplan-Meier curves, enrichment scores
  • Creating high quality visualizations of molecular/clinical data

By providing a portal equipped with rich data, powerful statistics and a simple interface, Oncoscape not only empowers users to quickly answer questions themselves but also expedites the process of discovering novel patterns and relationships. This can lead to numerous possible findings, including optimized drug therapies for individual patients, identification of novel regulatory pathways, or even the need to reassess adherence strategies.

Dr. Eric Holland, neurosurgeon and director of Human Biology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, explains how Fred Hutch researchers are mining vast amounts of data in order to discover meaningful information that’s being used against cancer.

STTRconnect Faculty Collaboration

An externally facing website for finding experts and resources within the computational, biological, or clinical fields of biomedical research with an emphasis on cancer. Highlights of STTRconnect include: a searchable database of 800+ local experts contributing to the biomedical field; ability to create or edit searchable profiles; generate printable reports of potential collaborators for large grants or projects; and visualize keywords, collaborative networks, titles and other designations by a variety of interactive figures.

STTRconnect Patient Resources

A searchable database of no- or low-cost resources for cancer patients and caregivers provided either online or located in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. Though listed resources are not limited to these states, it has been our pimary area of focus. You will also find support groups or summer camps, transportation or lodging options to be used during treatment, or simply learn more about a cancer type. Interactive features allow for filtering by resource type or cancer focus, searching by key words, scrolling through lists of online and location based resources, and even viewing places near you on a map.


A multi-phase initiative to integrate data about cancer patients and research subjects, their specimens, studies and molecular assays throughout all disease programs across the cancer center. HIDRA will enable broad and rapid research to be applied to molecular diagnostics and precision oncology. The HIDRA database consolidates data from about 150,000 historical cancer patients, thousands of biospecimens, hundreds of studies and over 5,000 new patients per year. This initiative will support research, healthcare operations, quality improvement, and public health reporting. ARGOS is the user interface sitting on the HIDRA database which will allow for selection of patient groups by clinical characteristics, demographics or assay availability.

Other informatics resources


An open source, web-based cancer data management system that integrates research with patient care. The system is freely distributed to promote standards and collaborative research, and has been downloaded by thousands of institutions world-wide. STTR promotes the use of Caisis by research teams because data from this system easily communicates with key institutional data repositories and pipelines. Additionally, instances of Caisis allow for customizations unique to disease type and are specifically designed for use in cancer research. STTR disease groups currently capturing clinical data into Caisis include brain, colorectal, head and neck, lungprostate and sarcoma.

Biomedical Informatics Resource

The Institute of Health Sciences offers a variety of biomedical informatics services, including electronic medical record data assessments, biospecimen acquisition and management tools, computing and IT support, and study data management tools.