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ASCO Announces CancerLinQ Partnerships With the FDA and the NCI

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Key Points

  • CancerLinQ has partnered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study the real-world use of newly approved cancer treatments and speed and strengthen the collection of national cancer surveillance data to improve patient care.
  • The partnership with the FDA will use real-world data from CancerLinQ to help answer questions about the best use of emerging cancer treatments and inform future regulatory decision-making.
  • The collaboration with the NCI will facilitate the exchange of information between practices participating in CancerLinQ and NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program.

CancerLinQ®, ASCO’s big data initiative to rapidly improve the quality of cancer care, is partnering with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study the real-world use of newly approved cancer treatments and speed and strengthen the collection of national cancer surveillance data to improve patient care. The announcement was made at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The goal of the partnership with the FDA is to examine the use of recently approved targeted drugs and immunotherapies to inform their continued use and apply the findings to future drug reviews or labeling refinements. Under this partnership, the FDA and CancerLinQ researchers will use CancerLinQ Discovery, a research and analytics platform that allows users to analyze real-world, aggregated, de-identified patient care data from oncology practices that participate in the CancerLinQ data-sharing program.

“This collaboration addresses one of oncology’s central challenges—to quickly learn about the real-world impact of cancer therapies once a drug is approved,” said Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chief Executive Officer of ASCO and Chairman of the CancerLinQ Board of Governors, in a statement. “Until now, our learning about new treatments was hindered by the limited number of physicians and patients involved in traditional research and slowed significantly when formal clinical trials ended. CancerLinQ Discovery addresses this gap and fulfills the need, picking up where trials leave off and opening up a new world of insights to guide the use of new therapies and improve the lives of everyday patients with cancer.”

Advancing Patient-Centered Care

Sean Khozin, MD, MPH, Acting Associate Director for Oncology Regulatory Science and Informatics in the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and Director of the FDA’s INFORMED initiative, agreed. “This is an important collaboration in our regulatory science research portfolio that can contribute to the development of an empirically derived framework for incorporation of real-world evidence into regulatory decision making,” said Dr. Khozin in a statement. “Studying the real world experience of patients is an opportunity to not only gain new insights beyond conventional clinical trials, but also advance patient-centered drug development by turning our focus to the point of care, where the majority of cancer patients are being treated.”

The initial FDA and CancerLinQ project is focusing on treatments for advanced melanoma.

Strengthening National Cancer Surveillance

CancerLinQ’s partnership with the NCI will facilitate the exchange of information between CancerLinQ’s participating oncology practices and the NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program—one of the primary sources of data on cancer incidence and survival in the United States. The aim of this partnership is to make it easy for oncologists to access valuable population-level cancer data while strengthening the nation’s cancer surveillance efforts through a national data sharing collaboration. With integrated access to SEER data in an easy-to-visualize format, CancerLinQ participants will be able to view and draw comparisons between regional- and national-level SEER data and their own practice data, enhancing their ability to inform clinical care and decision-making for their patients.

A second phase of this collaboration will allow CancerLinQ participants to upload and transmit their practice data to the SEER program through the CancerLinQ portal, making legally mandated cancer surveillance reporting activities more timely, efficient, and complete.

“CancerLinQ is becoming a community that learns together to improve patient care,” said Dr. Hudis in a statement. “It already includes oncologists, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, patient advocates, IT specialists, and researchers across the country. In partnering with the National Cancer Institute, we’re closer than ever to creating a comprehensive ecosystem that will enable a virtuous cycle of learning across the cancer care continuum.”

“When the cancer community combines its resources, we can greatly increase our chances of improving cancer care,” said Lynne Penberthy, MD, MPH, Associate Director for the Surveillance Research Program in the NCI. “This collaboration will provide cancer data that are difficult to capture from traditional surveillance methods. These additional sources will enhance our ability to understand patient care and outcomes.”

Collaborating to Improve Cancer Care

In addition to the FDA and the NCI, CancerLinQ has recently announced partnerships with the American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Society of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Informatics for Cancer Centers, College of American Pathologists, Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Oncology Nursing Society, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

 

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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