OncoKB: A Precision Oncology Knowledge Base


With prospective clinical sequencing of tumors emerging as a mainstay in cancer care, an urgent need exists for a clinical support tool that distills the clinical implications associated with specific mutation events into a standardized and easily interpretable format. To this end, we developed OncoKB, an expert-guided precision oncology knowledge base.

OncoKB annotates the biologic and oncogenic effects and prognostic and predictive significance of somatic molecular alterations. Potential treatment implications are stratified by the level of evidence that a specific molecular alteration is predictive of drug response on the basis of US Food and Drug Administration labeling, National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, disease-focused expert group recommendations, and scientific literature.

<Results>To date, > 3,000 unique mutations, fusions, and copy number alterations in 418 cancer-associated genes have been annotated. To test the utility of OncoKB, we annotated all genomic events in 5,983 primary tumor samples in 19 cancer types. Forty-one percent of samples harbored at least one potentially actionable alteration, of which 7.5% were predictive of clinical benefit from a standard treatment. OncoKB annotations are available through a public Web resource ( and are incorporated into the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics to facilitate the interpretation of genomic alterations by physicians and researchers.


OncoKB, a comprehensive and curated precision oncology knowledge base, offers oncologists detailed, evidence-based information about individual somatic mutations and structural alterations present in patient tumors with the goal of supporting optimal treatment decisions.