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ASCO Announces Progress in the Development of CancerLinQ, With the First Version Due in Late 2015

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Key Points

  • ASCO has partnered with SAP HANA in the development of CancerLinQ, the Society’s health information technology platform, to harness Big Data to deliver high-quality care to patients with cancer.
  • CancerLinQ is scheduled to roll out later this year in eight oncology practices around the country, with seven more soon to follow.
  • The initial 15 centers, representing both community practices and large cancer centers, are expected to provide data on approximately 500,000 patients with a variety of cancers. Once completed, CancerLinQ will allow oncologists to access patient care data from millions of electronic health records.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced today that it will use SAP HANA®, a data management and application platform, in the development of CancerLinQ, the Society’s health information technology platform that will harness Big Data to deliver high-quality care to patients with cancer. It is one of the only major data initiatives being developed and led by physicians. The first version of CancerLinQ is scheduled to roll out later this year in eight oncology practices around the country, with seven more large cancer centers expected to participate soon after. Information about CancerLinQ can be found at CancerLinQ.org.

Nearly 500,000 Patients Will Be Represented in CancerLinQ’s Initial Version

To date, eight oncology practices have signed agreements with CancerLinQ to provide patient records, and seven more oncology practices are expected to sign agreements soon. In total, it is expected that the 15 centers, representing both community practices and large cancer centers, will provide data on approximately 500,000 patients with a variety of cancers.

The initial eight oncology practices include:

  • Inova Comprehensive Cancer & Research Institute
  • South Coast Centers for Cancer Care
  • New England Cancer Specialists
  • Medical Oncology Hematology Consultants, PA
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America
  • Marin Cancer Care
  • Space Coast Cancer Center
  • Michiana Hematology-Oncology, PC

These practices will use CancerLinQ to aggregate and analyze a wide range of data and provide reports for quality improvement. Insights gathered from the data are expected to help lay the groundwork for developing the full CancerLinQ system, in which oncology practices nationwide will be able to participate.

Once completed, CancerLinQ is expected to unlock real-world patient care data from millions of electronic health records and more securely process and analyze the data to provide immediate high-quality feedback and clinical decision support to oncologists.

Reaching the Goal of Personalized Care for Every Patient

CancerLinQ is expected to contribute to high-quality, personalized cancer care for all patients in the following ways:

  • Unlocks, assembles, and analyzes patients medical records
  • Uncovers patterns that can improve patient care
  • Allows oncologists to compare their care against guidelines and the care of their peers
  • Offers clinical decision support, tailored to the needs of each patient

Providing High-Quality Evidence-Based Care

“ASCO has teamed up with the global software company SAP to create the Big Data software platform that will power CancerLinQ,” said Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO, ASCO’s President and Director of Cancer Research at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in California, during a presscast announcing the partnership. “As the market leader in Big Data processing and database management, SAP provides reliable, state-of-the-art technology to the development of CancerLinQ. SAP also shows a clear dedication to ASCO’s patient care mission. With the help of SAP’s technology and insights, we will turn the vision of high-quality cancer care for patients everywhere into a reality.”

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, ASCO’s Immediate Past President and Chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, echoed those sentiments. “We are developing CancerLinQ as part of ASCO’s broader mission to improve cancer care for every patient no matter who they are, no matter where they live, and no matter where they receive their care.”

CancerLinQ will help “change the balance in this world where historically only 3% of patients were on research studies into one where the majority of patients can contribute their data providing insights for discovery. This has tremendous potential downstream implications in terms of research efficiency and drug development, among other things,” said Dr. Hudis.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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