Friday, June 12, 2015

ASCO Knowledge Part V: CancerLinQ

“Shoppers have Amazon.

Students have Google.

Oncologists will have CancerLinQ”


That quote appeared on a brochure I saw at ASCO and it peaked my interest in a special patient advocate session that was being held to introduce us to CancerLinQ, a health information technology platform. In January of 2015, ASCO and SAP, a software company teamed up to create a Big Data software platform. 

ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer, Rich Schilsky began the session by sharing some important facts with the advocates.
Only 3% of adults participate in clinical trials. 
Older adults (>65)  may not qualify to participate in clinical trials so their outcomes and adverse effects may not be known by others who also treat older adults. 
As more drugs get approved through the quick FDA approval process there is a need to capture the knowledge that is being generated as patients use these drugs.  
Currently cancer patient data is in “silos”( my word choice) at various cancer centers – NCI centers, academic centers, and community oncologist groups.

 CancerLinQ will gather data from patients from around the country into a secure, searchable database. 

CancerLinQ In A Nutshell
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) of cancer patients will be collected, “de-identified” and entered into the database. Once the data is entered an number of things can take place:
-Providers can compare the care they provide to guidelines.
-Oncologists can search the database for patients with similar attributes, diagnosis, mutations, and treatments. The oncologists can then with their patients decide which treatment plan is best.
-Researchers can look for patterns in the patient data

In the fall of 2015, the first version of CancerLinQ will roll out and include 500,000 individual records from 15 oncology practices in the US. 

For more information please visit

Every Day is a Blessing!

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