The Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium (VICC)

The VICC is a Driver Project of the Global Alliance for Genomics Health (GA4GH).

The field of precision medicine aspires to a future in which a cancer patient’s molecular information can be used to inform diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options most likely to benefit that individual patient. Many groups have created knowledgebases to annotate cancer genomic mutations associated with evidence of pathogenicity or relevant treatment options. However, clinicians and researchers are unable to fully utilize the accumulated knowledge derived from such efforts. Integration of the available knowledge is currently infeasible because each group (often redundantly) curates their own knowledgebase without adherence to any interoperability standards. Therefore, there is a clear need to standardize and coordinate clinical-genomics curation efforts, and create a public community resource able to query the aggregated information. To this end we have formed the Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium (VICC) to bring together the leading institutions that are independently developing comprehensive cancer variant interpretation databases.


VICC participants share a desire to coordinate efforts and thus enhance the value of each independent effort. Each participant has agreed to: (1) sharing at least a minimal set of required data elements for cancer variant interpretations; (2) Protecting patient privacy by focusing on only clinical interpretations of variants derived from published findings, not individual patient/variant-level observations, thus avoiding the possibility of linking variants to individuals; (3) Sharing all or a significant proportion of interpretations accumulated by their ongoing curation efforts; (4) Releasing content under a permissive license (free and non-exclusive for research use); (5) Releasing software in public repositories with open source licenses; (6) Making data available through publicly accessible and documented APIs and as cross-knowlegebase bulk downloads; and (7) Using the existing schemas, APIs, and demonstration implementations developed by GA4GH.

Leadership and Members

Formation of the VICC was supported by the GA4GH. The VICC effort evolved out of the Genotype2Phenotype Task Team of the GA4GH. The VICC is currently led by a group of individuals from several institutions. Refer to the members section for a description of the VICC participating institutions and individuals.

Participating Organizations

To date a large number of academic and commercial groups have agreed to participate, including those at Washington University (CIViC), MSKCC (OncoKB), Weill Cornell (PMKB), Oregon Health and Science University, Dana-Farber, Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Illumina Inc, and others. Together, this consortium will create a federated query service able to interrogate associations between cancer gene alterations and clinical actions, for each cancer disease setting, based on evidence amassed from all participating institutions world-wide.

How to Join

The VICC is open to all interested participants. If you are working to interpret the clinical significance of cancer variants, please consider joining us. We are active participants of the GA4GH, and the VICC has active representation at the plenary meetings. We also contribute to several GA4GH Work Streams. The VICC holds bi-weekly video conference calls to solicit feedback from the community, to encourage engagement between relevant cancer knowledgebases, and to discuss technical progress. Refer to the Join section for details on how to get involved.

Ongoing Projects

The VICC has undertaken several specific projects to tackle areas of variant interpretation, standards development, funding, and outreach. Refer to the Projects section for further details.