Can­cer docs to get up­dates on data projects to eval­u­ate treat­ment

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Sabriya Rice

On­col­o­gists at the up­com­ing Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Clin­i­cal On­col­ogy con­fer­ence in Chicago will hear about progress on two big-data ini­tia­tives to im­prove can­cer care.

The an­nual event, which runs May 29 through June 2 and typ­i­cally draws more than 30,000 at­ten­dees, is some­times likened to an an­nual Wood­stock Fes­ti­val for on­col­o­gists, can­cer re­searchers and re­lated pro­fes­sion­als from around the world. The 245,000square-foot ex­hibit hall will fea­ture more than 400 ex­hibitors and 5,000 re­search ab­stracts.

Among the highly an­tic­i­pated agenda items will be a progress re­port on CancerLinQ, a can­cer-qual­ity ini­tia­tive ASCO an­nounced in Jan­uary. The data­base aims to com­pile in­for­ma­tion from mil­lions of pa­tients’ elec­tronic health records to dis­sem­i­nate pre­vi­ously in­ac­ces­si­ble data on can­cer care and re­duce med­i­cal “gray zones,” in which costly treat­ments and med­i­ca­tions may have lit­tle mea­sur­able ben­e­fit.

Last year, ASCO launched its Tar­geted Agent and Pro­fil­ing Uti­liza­tion Reg­istry Study to col­lect real-world data on clin­i­cal out­comes for pa­tients re­ceiv­ing molec­u­larly tar­geted can­cer drugs. Up­dates will be an­nounced at the meet­ing.

Tremen­dous progress has been achieved through decades of clin­i­cal re­search, but the key to more rapid progress lies in the abil­ity to trans­form data into knowl­edge, ASCO pres­i­dent Dr. Peter Yu said last week at a news con­fer­ence. “By shar­ing data, we can ac­cel­er­ate learn­ing and make faster strides against can­cer.”

Not sur­pris­ingly, the hot topic of pre­ci­sion medicine, which aims to cure dis­eases through ac­cess to per­son­al­ized ge­netic in­for­ma­tion, is also on the agenda.

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