'Big data', a cancer-treatment ally
Gathering and connecting data for its subsequent comparison and application in similar clinical records, all aimed at preparing a treatment as best as possible tailored to each patient, is one of the great challenges of modern medicine, especially in the field of oncology, a sector in continuous development that will receive an enormous push thanks to the latest grand project announced by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), developed along with the technology company SAP and baptized as CancerLinQ.
CancerLinQ, conceived as a ‘big data’ platform, is conceived as a network to facilitate the connection, development and choice of therapies for cancer diseases based on the treatments and results obtained in patients which cases are similar.
“CancerLinQ will help improve cancer treatment offering the most updated information to physicians, no matter where from, with the intention of being able to offer his/her patients the best and most innovative treatment, no matter where they live”, Clifford A. Hudis, a breast cancer specialist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and ‘past president’ of ASCO, explains. “With CancerLinQ, we can also learn from the treatment received by 97 percent of the adult patients currently not participating in the clinical trials”, A. Hudis adds.
The launching of the first version of CancerLinQ is foreseen to take place at the end of 2015. For now, 8 practices specializing in treating oncological patients have already signed agreements with CancerLinQ and seven more are expected to join the project, among them Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which has a Center in Philadelphia; jointly contributing a total of 500,000 records.