ASCO 2015: First Version of CancerLinQ™ Data Analytics Platform Debuts at Annual Meeting


Key Points

  • CancerLinQ aims to enable physicians to monitor clinical quality measures in real time, consider trends, identify groups of patients with similar characteristics, and create a patient’s record entirely electronically.
  • ASCO will begin its implementation of CancerLinQ with 15 vanguard practices in fall 2015.
  • The aggregated data of these practices will include about 500,000 patient records.

ASCO’s wholly owned nonprofit subsidiary, CancerLinQ LLC, provided the first demonstration of its groundbreaking health information technology platform at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Beginning May 30, demonstrations of the CancerLinQ platform’s initial components were offered to the approximately 30,000 cancer care professionals attending the meeting. CancerLinQ also announced that it has completed agreements with 12 of 15 oncology practices across the United States that will adopt the first version of CancerLinQ, beginning in late 2015.

“CancerLinQ will soon become a reality for trailblazing oncology practices, and their patients will see its impact right away,” said ASCO Immediate Past President Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO. “We’re excited to begin demonstrating the tangible benefits of CancerLinQ, and we are grateful for the enthusiasm of the practices that have joined us to make those benefits real for their patients.” 

CancerLinQ will harness big data analytics to help oncologists deliver high-quality care to patients with cancer. The system will unlock real-world patient care data from electronic health records and securely process and analyze the data to provide immediate quality feedback and guidance to physicians. Earlier this year, ASCO announced that CancerLinQ will be developed using SAP HANA®, a flexible, multipurpose data management and application platform.

System Specifics

Each stage of CancerLinQ will deliver successively more powerful tools and insights to physicians, researchers, patients, and others in the cancer community. The version demonstrated at the Annual Meeting, and being rolled out later this year, features several core components of the CancerLinQ system. These will enable physicians to monitor clinical quality measures in real time, continually tracking performance to prospectively improve quality of care.

It will also allow them to consider trends that could improve care—gaining insights from deidentified data on thousands of patients. The system will identify groups of anonymous patients with shared characteristics, making it possible for physicians to understand how other patients like theirs were treated. Finally, CancerLinQ will make better use of electronic health records; for example, by creating a personalized patient timeline that provides a visual snapshot of a patient’s treatments, side effects, and outcomes.

Dr. Yu discussed CancerLinQ and the potential impact of health information technology during the opening session of the Annual Meeting on Saturday.

“Our vision for CancerLinQ is ambitious—for every patient’s experience to contribute to the most compassionate, effective, and sustainable cancer care possible,” said Dr. Yu. “This first version offers a glimpse at the potential for big data to make cancer care better and more seamless. But it’s just a taste of the future, in which every patient’s care will be guided by up-to-the-minute science and data-driven insights.”

First Implementation

Beginning in late 2015, CancerLinQ will work with 15 “vanguard” practices to begin implementing the first version of the system in clinical settings. Their aggregated data will encompass approximately 500,000 patient records. 

Twelve of the practices have already committed to CancerLinQ, representing a diverse mix of U.S. cancer care providers. They include MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington Cancer Institute (Washington, DC); Marin Cancer Care (Marin, California); Montgomery Cancer Center (Montgomery, Alabama); New England Cancer Specialists (Portland, Maine); INOVA Medical Group (Fairfax, Virginia); Medical Oncology Hematology Consultants, PA (Newark, Delaware); Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care (New Bedford, Massachusetts); Zangmeister Center (Columbus, Ohio); Michiana Hematology Oncology, PC (Crown Point, Mishawaka, South Bend, Elkhart, Plymouth, and Westville, Indiana); Space Coast Cancer Center (Merritt Island, Melbourne, Viera, and Titusville, Florida); Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Phoenix, Arizona); and Catholic Health Initiatives (Denver, Colorado).

CancerLinQ has also opened a new office in San Francisco to draw on top-tier technical talent and build relationships within the technology industry.

CancerLinQ is a project of CancerLinQ LLC. For more information, including supporters and donors, visit

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®.