Rapid and affordable tumor molecular profiling has led to an explosion of clinical and genomic data poised to enhance the diagnosis, prognostication and treatment of cancer. A critical point has now been reached at which the analysis and storage of annotated clinical and genomic information in unconnected silos will stall the advancement of precision cancer care. Information systems must be harmonized to overcome the multiple technical and logistical barriers to data sharing. Against this backdrop, the Global Alliance for Genomic Health (GA4GH) was established in 2013 to create a common framework that enables responsible, voluntary and secure sharing of clinical and genomic data. This Perspective from the GA4GH Clinical Working Group Cancer Task Team highlights the data-aggregation challenges faced by the field, suggests potential collaborative solutions and describes how GA4GH can catalyze a harmonized data-sharing culture.