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ASCO launches big data effort to study cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is teaming up with SAP on an big data initiative that will use EHRs to examine previously inaccessible information that may lead to early identification on potential cancer patients. As part of the effort, eight oncology centers around the country will use CanderLinQ, a health IT platform that will […]

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is teaming up with SAP on an big data initiative that will use EHRs to examine previously inaccessible information that may lead to early identification on potential cancer patients.

As part of the effort, eight oncology centers around the country will use CanderLinQ, a health IT platform that will be powered by SAP HANA, to analyze millions of health records. The scope is what stands out, and physicians should be able to receive personalized insights, officials with ASCO said.

Dr. Clifford Hudis, ASCO’s immediate past president, said CancerLinQ will enable researchers to study 97 percent of adult cancer patients who aren’t currently participating in clinical trials.

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SAP’s software includes predictive text analytics, spatial processing and data virtualization. The collaboration with ASCO is one of several health-related efforts for SAP, having previously applied its software with the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Germany, to assist cancer research and improve clinical trial matching. In Japan, SAP has teamed with Mitsui Knowledge Industry to reduce patient-specific genomic analysis for cancer diagnosis from 30 days to 20 minutes. It also partnered with Stanford University on a genomic data effort.

“Since every instance of cancer is unique, there is no exact way of knowing which treatments will work for a specific patient,” said Bernd Leukert, a member of the executive board of SAP SE, products and innovation.

ASCO’s CancerLinQ is scheduled for release in late 2015. Eight oncology practices around the U.S. have signed agreements with CancerLinQ to provide patient records for the first version of CancerLinQ.

Officials said seven more large cancer centers will soon join this effort, meaning approximately 500,000 patients will be represented in the first version of CancerLinQ. The eight that have already signed on are:

CancerLinQ’s vanguard 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, P.C.

The ASCO will maintain control over the data, services, and products that stem from the platform, including clinical decision support tools and analyses.