BETRNet CC

BETRNet Coordinating Center

Introduction:

The goal of the Barrett’s Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet) is to reduce the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA), through answering key questions related to the progression of this disease, especially in the premalignant stage. The Vanderbilt Center for Quantitative Sciences BETRNet Coordinating Center (VCQS-BETRNetCC), under the direction of Yu Shyr, Ph.D., has a central role to play in facilitating these scientific advances, by achieving the following specific aims:

1. Ensure smooth functioning of the entire BETRNet, especially with regard to interaction among research centers. To achieve this goal, the coordinating center provides leadership, logistical, and administrative support for cross-network communication and interaction; establishes BETRNet working groups and subcommittees to provide expertise in various areas relevant to the needs of BETRNet investigators; and facilitates communication between BETRNet research centers and the NCI.

2. Facilitate data collection, management, analysis, and dissemination across the BETRNet. The coordinating center provides infrastructure for data collection and storage. The center also develops and implements mechanisms to ensure that institutions across the BETRNet remain informed of the data and resources available within the network, as these data and resources continue to be developed through trans-disciplinary research. Moreover, the coordinating center is available to assist with study design and statistical analysis across the research network, especially with regard to high-dimensional omics studies, including the latest technologies (e.g., RNAseq).

3. Develop a multi-institutional patient registry to house clinical, longitudinal, and epidemiological data, as well as datasets relevant to biospecimens available at each BETRNet site.

 4. Develop and apply evaluation metrics for the BETRNet. Results of this evaluation allow for mid-course corrections, to help maximize research productivity and efficiency within the BETRNet initiative.

Purpose:

Although EA is a relatively uncommon cancer, the incidence of this disease is increasing faster than that of any other cancer in the United States; moreover, at the time of detection, most patients have incurable disease. The alarming increase in EA, along with the poor prognosis, demand improved patient management and development of preventive measures. Advances in these areas will have significant benefit in reducing morbidity and mortality, as well as reducing the public health costs of managing EA at advanced stages.

Cores:

Leadership and Administrative Core (Core A)                          
Core Leader: Yu Shyr, Ph.D.                                        

The key function of the Leadership and Administrative Core is to ensure smooth functioning of the VCQS-BETRNetCC and the entire BETRNet, especially with regard to interaction among research centers. To achieve this goal, the core will provide leadership, logistical, and administrative support for cross-network communication and interaction; establish BETRNet working groups and subcommittees to provide expertise in various areas relevant to the needs of BETRNet investigators; and facilitate communication between BETRNet research centers and the NCI.

Data and Bioinformatics Core (Core B)        
Core Leader: Yu Shyr, Ph.D.
    
Co-Leader: Steven Chen, Ph.D.                                 

The key functions of the data and bioinformatics core are to oversee data collection, management, analysis, and sharing across the BETRNet. Core B also is responsible for providing study design support for cross-center studies and pilot projects.

Patient Registry Core (Core C)  
Core Leader: Lynne Berry, Ph.D.                                                    
Co-Leader: Bashar Shakhtour, B.S.

The key function of the patient registry core is development, management, and maintenance of a multi-institutional patient registry/virtual biorepository to house clinical, longitudinal, and epidemiological data, as well as datasets relevant to bio-specimens available at each BETRNet site.

Integration and Self-Evaluation Core (Core D)                           
Core Leader: Lynne Berry, Ph.D.

The primary function of the Integration and Self-evaluation Core is development and application of evaluation metrics for the BETRNet, to assess the ongoing performance of each BETRNet research center and the initiative as a whole. Results of this evaluation will allow for mid-course corrections, to help maximize research productivity and efficiency within the BETRNet initiative.

There are 3 Research Centers: