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Clifford A. Hudis, MD, and Karen E. Knudsen, MBA: An ASCO–American Cancer Society Partnership to Benefit Patients

2024 ASCO Annual Meeting

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Clifford A. Hudis, MD, CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, CEO of the American Cancer Society, discuss a newly launched collaboration between the organizations to make it simpler for patients to find authoritative cancer information online. The effort creates one of the largest and most comprehensive online resources for credible cancer information, available for free to the public on cancer.org.

 



Transcript

Disclaimer: This video transcript has not been proofread or edited and may contain errors.
Cliff: Hello, Karen. Thank you for joining me for this review of our recently announced collaboration. We are so excited to be able to offer this new unified source of high quality information for patients and families facing cancer. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about how this came to be and what we hope to achieve. Karen: Yeah. Well, cliff, I'm so thankful for our continued partnership and collaboration, and this was rooted in a conversation you and I had three years ago where you really had the vision to determine how we can best work together as the American Cancer Society in ASCO toward the goal of ending cancer as we know it for everyone. And I remember that conversation vividly where we truly both appreciated the idea that empowering patients and their caregivers and families with information about cancer is going to be a key mechanism by which we can get toward that goal. So from our perspective, the idea of ensuring that we create a single stop shop for cancer patients and families to come to get information across the cancer continuum at multiple depths using the incredible evidence-based data that's curated by ASCO every year at this meeting is a win for everyone involved. For patients who will certainly benefit, but also for providers who will have an educated patient coming into their office using the information that we've been able to provide. Cliff: One of the things that did concern me for years was that we at ASCO had this high quality, award-winning without bragging evidence-based information, and it was created, curated, maintained by our volunteers. But to be very frank and a bit humble, it wasn't seen by enough people. What is the kind of traffic that the American Cancer Society gets? And I'm leading you into that question because that, for us was a big part of what we were hoping to achieve here. Karen: Yeah, it's a great question, and I'll say, as a lifelong ASCO member, I really appreciate cancer.net and do use and continue to use that information myself. So I recognize how incredibly important it is. It's not surprising to me that it won awards. At cancer.org, the ACS website, we have the mandate to write at a level that's truly for the lay public, for anyone without a strong health background, to be able to understand across that cancer continuum. So it is widely utilized. So it's utilized in the English version by 50 million unique users every year. Cliff: Is that 50 million American users or 50 million English users around the world? Karen: 50 million English users around the world. Now, the majority in North America. But it is used in a global scenario recognizing the importance of now translating this in a formidable way, not just pieces, but truly all of the medical content into multiple languages has become a goal of ours. So last year we invested in lifting up our first ever fully fledged Spanish website. In the first year of that Spanish website, we reached 27 million additional users. So we're upwards of 75 million users every year of that medical content. What I love about this partnership is that now someone in their cancer journey who wants more sophisticated knowledge, especially about cancer therapeutics, treatment strategies, treatment options, as well as survivorship, we'll be able to tap into our combined brain power in a way that will help them take agency over their own cancer journey and I hope get to a better outcome. Cliff: So one of the things that is going to happen, of course, is visitors to cancer.net will be redirected to cancer.org and in the months ahead, they will begin to see ASCO branded content pushed that out by ACS. Am I right to understand though that we're actually envisioning two levels of information, the historical ACS level, and then a deeper level of knowledge for those who go further? Is that the structure or is it to be determined a little bit? Karen: I think that's the strategy. It's truly information at the level that someone would desire. And so you can imagine that someone who's at first diagnosis may be looking for that high level information. What questions should I ask when I'm going into my oncology team? And then once given options, we'll be potentially ready to go into some of that deeper material that's being powered by ASCO. Cliff: I think that's great, and one of the things that we hope to see out of this collaboration is more collaboration. From an outsider's point of view, it's a little bit hard to justify competing for the time and attention of patients and families who are facing this most scary moment in their lives. More than that, in an era of resource constraints, it's somewhat a shame to be duplicating sometimes many times over much of the same information. And I don't just mean in our two websites, but in fact in others across the spectrum. This kind of collaboration can work and maybe be expanded. I do agree that we have an opportunity to further the efforts of the moonshot and both save resources and elevate the quality of the information out there. Karen: No question. I agree completely with that, and I would layer on further that it is so critical for patients and families to have a single source of trusted information because unfortunately, medical misinformation is on the rise. We spend significant energy putting down unfortunate misinformation about cancer screening, cancer prevention, and cancer management. So I think having this single trusted source that's widely utilized will help dispel myths about cancer as well. Cliff: And in that regard, I also will point out that our plan includes some channeling of late breaking kinds of information, that kind of information that comes out of a meeting like this, and this will be pushed out onto the ACS website as well in collaboration. I want to thank you for being here, for talking about this with us and for your enthusiastic collaboration on this ongoing project now and into the future. Karen: Well, cliff, it's very easily done. I am very thankful for the partnership, always rooted in doing the right thing to empower patients. Thank you.

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