It’s Time to Register for the CCDI Annual Symposium

By Samuel Lopez, staff writer
A graphic announcing the date of the symposium as March 24

The Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI) Annual Symposium returns on March 24. Scheduled to occur both on-site in Bethesda and virtually, the event will play host to scientists, clinicians, and stakeholders from NCI and the larger cancer research community.

Staff from Frederick are eligible to attend. In-person attendance is open but limited, and NCI is accepting registrations on a first-come, first-served basis. For those who miss the cutoff, it’s still possible to register to attend virtually. There’s no cost to attend in either format.

Several short talks and an hour-long panel discussion comprise the morning session, with three further panels filling out the afternoon. Participants will hear from experts speaking on data platforms, methods for improving clinical trials, clinical data, and similar topics related to CCDI’s mission.

CCDI is a large-scale collaboration between NCI, patients, hospitals, and other researchers to create a data ecosystem on childhood cancers. The goal is to build out a national strategy for better understanding these themes, eventually leading to better diagnostic tools, treatments, and care plans.

It’s a big undertaking. Childhood cancers are rare, according to NCI, which means clinical data aren’t often shared, unlike the larger data networks that exist for adult cancers. That creates blind sports in the medical community’s knowledge of the disease in children.

It’s also important. NCI reports that, despite how uncommonly it occurs, cancer is the leading cause of death in children who are past infancy. Annually, more than 15,000 cases on average occur in children and adolescents in the U.S., and between 1,000 and 2,000 children, adolescents, and young adults die.

CCDI has made progress since being established a few years ago. Among its accomplishments is the CCDI Data Ecosystem, which NCI describes as “a dynamic and evolving infrastructure that is bringing together data from various collections generated or held at institutions around the country and worldwide,” and accompanying resources.

The Bioinformatics and Computational Science Directorate at Frederick National Laboratory has had a large hand in these, launching the Childhood Cancer Data Catalog and the Molecular Targets Platform, two key resources, in 2022.

Details about the symposium, including registration information, are available on NCI’s website, and the agenda is available on the registration site. Questions about CCDI can be submitted to


Samuel Lopez leads the editorial team in Scientific Publications, Graphics & Media (SPGM). He writes for newsletters; informally serves as an institutional historian; and edits scientific manuscripts, corporate documents, and sundry other written media. SPGM is the creative services department and hub for editing, illustration, graphic design, formatting, multimedia, and training in these areas.