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The Cancer Letter Inc.
PO Box 9905
DC 20016
Tel: 202-362-1809
Fax: 202-379-1787
publication date: Jun 3, 2016
ISSUE 22 - June 3, 2016 PDF

Obama and Congress Inadvertently
Created Obstacles to Data Sharing, Biden Acknowledges—Now What?

Seven years ago, when Congress sought to jumpstart the U.S. economy, few imagined that one aspect of the $800 billion stimulus program would turn electronic health records into the Tower of Babel.

Speaking at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center last week, Vice President Joe Biden took full responsibility for the major bioinformatics snafu triggered by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

True, ARRA forced the U.S. medical establishment to digitize records in a hurry. Alas, today, fax machines and legions of data entry technicians are often required to transfer patient records from one hospital to another.

Biden said the Obama administration didn’t foresee the consequences of mandating the switch to EHRs without developing a standard infrastructure for aggregating data.

Biden: "You're All Doing the Same Thing!"

At a roundtable discussion at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Vice President Joe Biden urged greater efforts to aggregate cancer data.

“I know MSK is part of Project GENIE and part of data sharing coalitions,” Biden said at the meeting May 26. “But I’ve met also with ORIEN, I’ve met with CancerLinQ.”

“You’re all doing the same thing! I find it curious. I don’t know if that’s the only way it that can be done.”

      University of Maryland Cancer Center
      Earns NCI Comprehensive Designation

      The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center has earned a designation as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. The center announced the NCI designation May 31.

      On Aug. 1, when the designation goes in effect, Maryland will become one of the 46 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S.

      ASCO Updates Value Framework

      The American Society of Clinical Oncology published an updated framework for assessing the relative value of cancer therapies that have been compared in clinical trials.

      The framework defines value as a combination of clinical benefit, side effects, and improvement in patient symptoms or quality of life in the context of cost. The updated framework will be the basis for a software tool that doctors can use to assist shared decision-making with their patients. The update was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

      Study: 70 Cancer Treatments Launched Over 5 Years Pushes Oncology Market to $107 Billion

      A study reviewing trends in oncology found that more than 20 tumor types are being treated with one or more of the 70 cancer treatments that have been launched in the past five years.

      The surge in new therapies drove the global oncology market to $107 billion in 2015, an 11.5 percent increase over the previous year in constant dollars.


      Funding Opportunity

      CDMRP Taking Pre-Applications
      For Lung Cancer Concept Award

      Only 40 percent of Americans have a positive overall impression of clinical trials, according to a national survey conducted for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

      The survey, which polled over 2,100 people including nearly 600 physicians, found that 28 percent of doctors considered clinical trials as treatments of last resort.

      Letter to the Editor

      Progress Against Cancer:
      It Comes in Waves and Ripples

      By Silvia Paddock

      In 1916, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves. It took almost 100 years and the construction of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to show that he was right. In 2015, a brilliant team of researchers detected gravitational ripples that had been generated by the collision of two black holes about 1.3 billion years ago.

      In Brief
      • Ralph De Vere White to step down as director of UC Davis Cancer Center
      • FDA publishes two guidances on compassionate use

      • ACCC launches Metastatic Breast Cancer Project

      Drugs and Targets
      • FDA approves cobas EGFR companion blood test for Tarceva

      • FDA approves NETSPOT for neuroendocrine tumors

      • European Commission approves Afinitor, Imbruvica
      • FDA grants orphan designations to Debio 1143 and SUBA-Itraconazole Capsules

      • Mylan launches generic version of Vidaza Injection

      • FDA grants Priority Review of telotristat etiprate in carcinoid syndrome


      Copyright (c) 2016 The Cancer Letter Inc.