February 15, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 4)


Strong Points: Large amount of information, nicely organized
Weak Points: None


Developed and maintained by a research group at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, OncoKB is a curated database that contains information about more than 400 cancer-causing gene variants. In particular, the database emphasizes treatment implications and clinical actionability for each of the included genes. As such, genes are organized according to the Levels of Evidence system. This four-tier classification system corresponds to the degree of research evidence obtained and the types of treatments that are available, ranging from FDA-approved treatments to hypothetical treatments backed only by biological (but not clinical) evidence. Site visitors can browse the database by Levels of Evidence categories from the home page, or they can browse the organized lists of “actionable genes” or the more general category of “cancer genes” from their respective pages on the site. A page that explains the Levels of Evidence system is a useful starting point to direct one’s exploration.