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Three health systems—Stanford Cancer Institute, Intermountain Healthcare and Providence Health and Services—have agreed to eliminate the electronic barriers between their medical records, tumor registries and genomics databases.
The three entities said they have started to use a common IT platform to achieve interoperability and guide clinical decision-making.
That platform is Syapse, a startup that is emerging as an important player in the ongoing conversation on bioinformatics and data sharing in oncology, led by Vice President Joe Biden and the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
• Related Coverage of the Cancer Moonshot
Jonathan Hirsch was studying neuroscience at Stanford University when he wandered into two oncology classes and saw an opportunity to change the way health systems handle genomic data.
“I started getting really immersed in molecular oncology, and the challenges in implementing molecularly guided treatment started coming together with the challenges in utilizing complex data,” Hirsch said to The Cancer Letter.
How will the success of the moonshot be measured? NCI Acting Director Doug Lowy touched on the subject during the joint meeting of the institute’s Board of Scientific Advisors and the National Cancer Advisory Board June 21.
The moonshots of the 1960s were essentially engineering problems that had tangible goals. Cancer is an evolutionary problem, and the stated goal of the moonshot in cancer research, led by Vice President Joe Biden, is perhaps deliberately vague: to achieve a decade’s worth of progress in just five years.
“Has there been any discussion of an endpoint that you can point to—like planting the flag on the moon, or sequencing the three-billionth base pair of the genome project?” asked BSA member Lincoln Stein, director of the Informatics and BioComputing Platform at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, during the meeting. “Something that looks like an achievable endpoint?”
Stand Up To Cancer announced a request for proposals under SU2C Catalyst, a program supporting clinical trials and translational research.
Rajesh Garg named president and CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Prostate Cancer Foundation names 24 Young Investigator Award winners
Shuanzeng "Sam" Wei and Phillip Pancari join Fox Chase
MIT's Tyler Jacks, Susan Hockfield, and Phillip Sharp publish report on convergence
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network lobbies Congress for research funding
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Society of Hematology to collaborate on promoting AML treatment research
The contract for operations and technical support at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research could be accepting proposals as early as next month—but NCI advisors said they are hoping to slow the recompetition process to reform the laboratory’s mission.
Moreover, NCI should consider how the laboratory could contribute to Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, members of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee said at a recent meeting.
The final version of guidelines for colorectal cancer screening by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force differ substantively from the group’s draft version published last October.
The final version—unlike the draft—lists CT colonography and FIT-DNA as screening methods that are equal to others.
It’s unclear whether political pressure had any role in prompting the panel to broaden its list of detection strategies from three to seven in the past six months.
"I don’t see this recommendation as differing in any substantial way from some others that we’ve made, where we suggested that patients talk with their clinicians, and the important messages here is that colorectal cancer screening works, that colorectal cancer screening reduces deaths from colorectal cancer,” said Douglas Owens, a who has rotated off the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and was involved in developing the colorectal cancer screening guideline published earlier this week.
Stand Up to Cancer to host fifth-biennial televised fundraiser
Kety Duron joins City of Hope as chief human resources officer
Miami Cancer Institute takes delivery of 220-ton proton therapy cyclotron
Takeda and M2Gen to collaborate on ORIEN genomic data
Mayo Clinic and Kiyatec to collaborate on ovarian cancer care
St. Jude receives pathology accreditation through College of American Pathologists
Genomic Health launches Oncotype SEQ Liquid Select biopsy test
CHICAGO—Vice President Joe Biden June 6 announced the NCI Genomic Data Commons as part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
The GDC, a $20 million portal that consolidates NCI’s diverse datasets, contains genomic sequences and analyses of tumors, as well as clinical data on enrollment and treatment.
Biden’s announcement—made hours before his address at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology—establishes NCI as the leader in a high-stakes debate over who gets to set standards for how health records data should be aggregated and organized.
Vice President Joe Biden challenged individual organizations and leading initiatives in oncology bioinformatics to interoperate and share data.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, Biden announced the NCI’s Genomic Data Commons as part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and urged others to collaborate with NCI.
The FDA Oncology Center of Excellence—first proposed in the National Moonshot Cancer Initiative—is gaining support from oncology groups as well as in both chambers of Congress.
Earlier this week, 28 oncology professional societies and advocacy organizations sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, describing the organizational structure they’d like to see in the proposed center.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations marked up a bipartisan spending bill June 9 that gives NIH a $2 billion increase in the 2017 fiscal year.
NCI is to receive a $216 million increase over FY 2016.
Passed on a 29-1 vote, the measure boosts the NIH budget to $34 billion and now moves to consideration by full Senate. Funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will remain flat.
Vose: "Are We Ready To Care For These Patients?
Julie Vose, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, addressed the opening session of the society’s annual meeting in Chicago, discussing the themes of her year in office, the coming changes in federal cancer research and Medicare reimbursement, and the progress made over the society’s past 52 years.
Two House measures introduced earlier this week aim to strengthen federal requirements for reporting adverse outcomes caused by medical devices and to increase access to legal recourse for patients harmed by Class III high-risk devices.
• Related Coverage of Power Morcellation
Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Janssen research prize from Johnson & Johnson
Five Pew-Stewart cancer research scholars announced
Susan G. Komen names 16 new Komen Scholars
American Hospital Dubai joins Mayo Clinic Care Network
University of Kentucky joins TriNetX
Roswell Park forms for-profit biotechnology company
CDC publishes Youth Risk Behavior Survey showing historic low smoking rates
Vice President Joe Biden June 6 announced the NCI Genomic Data Commons as part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
Biden’s announcement—hours before his address at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago—establishes NCI as the leader in a high-stakes debate over who gets to set standards for how health records data should be aggregated and organized.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FDA publishes two guidances on compassionate use
ACCC launches Metastatic Breast Cancer Project
FDA approves cobas EGFR companion blood test for Tarceva
FDA approves NETSPOT for neuroendocrine tumors
FDA grants orphan designations to Debio 1143 and SUBA-Itraconazole Capsules
Mylan launches generic version of Vidaza Injection
The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center has earned the designation as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The center announced the NCI designation May 31.
What were Texas politicians and CPRIT officials thinking as they were pounded by blistering letters of resignation?
Condemnation seemed to be rolling off their backs as they marched toward what they thought was their great triumph.
Jimmy Mansour, chairman of CPRIT’s oversight committee, mistakenly hit Reply All, sending an especially contemptuous email to a scientist who was announcing his resignation from CPRIT. In the email that came into public view because of his sloppiness, Mansour, a telecommunications entrepreneur, belittles scientists and the peer review process.
Conversation with The Cancer Letter
Candace Johnson: A New Vision for Roswell Park
Since Candace Johnson’s appointment as president and CEO of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in February 2015, the institute has recruited 22 new faculty members and promoted 19 faculty members into senior leadership positions.
“I’m a new leader. I have a new style, a new vision of where Roswell Park is going,” Johnson, the Wallace Family Chair in Translational Research, said to The Cancer Letter. “We have new and different challenges, and unless my entire workforce understood these challenges and embraced the changes I’ve been implementing, we wouldn’t have a chance.”
The American Society of Clinical Oncology issued its first clinical practice guideline for invasive cervical cancer.
The guideline provides evidence-based recommendations for four tiers based on available resources for cervical cancer screening and treatment: basic, limited, enhanced and maximal. For each setting, and for each stage of cervical cancer, the guideline recommends optimal therapy and palliative care. The guideline was published in the Journal of Global Oncology and was endorsed by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.
The Canadian Cancer Society and Merck to collaborate on New Horizons project
American Skin Association presents annual awards
Margaret Foti honored by Ovarcome foundation
Seattle Children's and Juno Therapeutics to collaborate on T-cell immunotherapies
Memorial Sloan Kettering and Hunter Douglas establish graduate fellowship
University of Chicago and Blue Cross and Blue Shield launch oncology medical home
Lightpoint Medical signs agreement for Beta Emission Tomography technology from University of Arizona researchers
CHMP issues positive opinion for Kyprolis in multiple myeloma
ProNAi Therapeutics and Carna Biosciences to commercialize AS-141
NCI is working to provide five to ten recommendations for Vice President Joe Biden’s cancer moonshot program, officials said at a recent advisory committee meeting.
At a meeting of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee May 11, top NCI officials described the mechanisms that will be used to provide recommendations for spending new money that may be directed at cancer research.
The institute’s Blue Ribbon Panel—consisting of 28 members representing academia, government, industry and patient advocates—has assembled seven working groups.
Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative has touched off an unprecedented national and international dialogue about cancer.
My presidential year at the American Association for Cancer Research brings the special opportunity to ensure that this momentum is captured and fully utilized to position cancer research as the key to saving more lives from cancer.
The AACR has been and continues to be a trusted adviser to the vice president on this important initiative.
House Committee Provides Forum for Opponents of Part B Payment Model
A Congressional committee earlier this week provided a venue for opponents of a controversial Medicare Part B payment model to argue against its implementation by Centers for Medicaid Services.
Witnesses at the May 17 hearing of the health subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce said the payment model would make it difficult for Medicare patients to obtain care, and one witness likened the model to an unethical clinical trial. Also, in what couldn’t be a coincidence, two witnesses—representing patients with immune deficiencies and rheumatology—submitted written testimony that contained identical paragraphs.
Michael Kaplan named president and CEO of Melanoma Research Alliance
Hong-yu Li named Arkansas Research Alliance Scholar and endowed chair
CPRIT awards 35 grants totaling $79.2 million
Senate marks up FDA tobacco regulation appropriations
FDA grants accelerated approvals to Tecentriq and Opdivo
FDA warns doctors about counterfeit BiCNU
A demonstration project in which the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services hopes to investigate the impact of reimbursement based on Average Sales Prices of drugs is running into strong opposition, as a large number of cancer groups submitted public comments urging the agency to abandon the endeavor.
The agency’s stated goal for tweaking the ASP-based reimbursement formula is to learn whether it gives physicians the incentive to prescribe the most expensive treatments available.
Opponents—including oncology professional groups and pharmaceutical companies—say that experimentation with ASP-based reimbursement, which is currently set at ASP plus 4.3 percent, will make it economically unfeasible for oncology practices to treat Medicare patients.
Agus: $200 Million Interdisciplinary Institute to Focus on Data Modeling
A few years ago, at dinner with technology entrepreneur Larry Ellison, David Agus, director of the University of Southern California Center for Applied Molecular Medicine, mentioned his dream of opening an interdisciplinary cancer center.
“I said, it really would be an amazing thing if we could start to get people in one place and have residences, so the greatest physicists, mathematicians, engineers can actually come in and live there and be engrossed in cancer,” said Agus, professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
““Well, how much would it be to kind of put together such a building and program?” Ellison, Oracle Corporation’s chairman of the board and chief technology officer, said to Agus at the time.
“You know, about $200 million,” Agus said.
“Done,” Ellison responded.
Slamming the Door
Part XII: Scientists Vote with Their Feet
In their op-ed piece, Gilman and Sharp stated what it would take to fix CPRIT’s problems. That was the polite version of the Gilman Plan.
The spoken version was more blunt: get rid of the “assholes” on the oversight board, jettison the administrators, then—maybe—CPRIT’s credibility would be restored.
NIH Makes Sweeping Changes in Clinical Center Governance
The NIH Clinical Center will be placed under a new system of governance, similar to that of hospitals.
Replacing Director John Gallin and the current management structure, NIH has begun “the process of changing the leadership structure of the Clinical Center to model those of world class hospitals in the United States,” institute officials said in a statement.
ACS Report Assesses Progress in 25-Year Goal Against Mortality
The American Cancer Society published a report assessing the progress made in its 25-year goal to reduce cancer death rates by 50 percent. The report finds areas where progress was substantial, and others where it was not.
The report, appearing in the ACS journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, said the best improvements were seen in cancers for which prevention, early detection, and treatment tools are available, including cancers of the lung, colon, breast, and prostate.
American Urological Association presents 2016 awards at annual meeting
Tom Andrus named chief digital officer at Prostate Cancer Foundation
Stand Up to Cancer and Boston College publish nursing training modules in immunotherapy
CancerCare publishes report on patient access and engagement
Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center presents awards
City of Hope receives $2.3 million R01 grant from NCI
BioDelivery Sciences International and Collegium Pharmaceutical form collaboration
Thomas Jefferson University joins TriNetX research network
UCLA and Leica Biosystems to collaborate in digital pathology
St. Jude raises $4 million in campaign Univision
PhRMA members invested $58.8 billion in R&D in 2015
FDA expands Imbruvica label to include CLL and SLL
Health Canada approves Imbruvica in Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia
Health Canada grants conditional approval to Ibrance in breast cancer