ASCO To Launch Database Initiative To Advance Cancer Treatment

January 22, 2015 in News

On Wednesday, the American Society of Clinical Oncology announced that it soon will launch a big data initiative to improve cancer care, Modern Healthcare reports.

Details of Initiative

Through the initiative, ASCO will use a database called CancerLinQ to release previously inaccessible cancer data from millions of electronic health records.

The database will provide clinicians with real-time feedback through clinical decision making tools, allowing physicians to:

  • Identify patterns in treatment and patient outcomes; and
  • Provide more personalized treatment options.

Clifford Hudis, former president of ASCO, said, “We aim to take an unprecedented amount of patient data, identify meaningful and actionable insights and improve patient care.”

The database will use software vendor SAP’s Hana software. SAP Americas CMO David Delaney said the software is capable of aggregating, quickly analyzing and processing data from multiple sources.


So far, eight cancer centers have joined the initiative and an additional seven are in the process of doing so (Rice, Modern Healthcare, 1/21).

According to ASCO, the participating cancer centers will provide data on about 500,000 patients. Individuals will be asked for their consent to use the information and can choose to opt out (Mulcahy, Medscape, 1/22).

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