Biomedicine in general - and cancer research especially - are moving toward an enhanced understanding of the molecular basis of disease. To realize the benefits of this revolution - earlier detection, more productive drug discovery and development, more individualized patient care - biomedical researchers need to utilize all the new technologies available in basic and clinical research. The National Cancer Institute has developed the caBIGTM initiative (cancer Biomedical Informatics GridTM) to overcome the "silos" and data disconnects that slow cancer research. This voluntary, open-source network is unique in the history of biomedical research. caBIGTM connects scientists and practitioners through a shareable, interoperable infrastructure; provides standard rules, unified architecture, and a common language to share information; and offers free, open-source software tools for collecting, analyzing, integrating, and disseminating information. With that foundation, NCI is fulfilling the vision of a truly connected cancer enterprise across the nation that achieves optimum research productivity for improved clinical outcomes.