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ASCO 2019: Focus on Data Sharing

By BCRF | July 11, 2019

ASCO President and BCRF investigator Dr. Monica Bertagnolli shares how data sharing can help doctors inform treatment discussions.

When ASCO president and BCRF investigator Dr. Monica Bertagnolli delivered her presidential address to the 32,000 plus attendees at the 55th annual ASCO meeting, she challenged the audience of oncologists and oncologists in training to imagine a world where every patient’s treatment informed a future patient’s care. 

“What if the next time you and your patient had a challenging treatment decision to make,” she said, “you could draw on the experiences of everyone in the room?”

Choosing the theme of “Caring for Every Patient, Learning from Every Patient” for this year’s meeting, Dr. Bertagnolli stressed that the key to learning from every patient is having patient data accessible to other doctors who can use it to inform their treatment discussion with their patients.

Data sharing was a major pillar of the National Cancer Moonshot to accelerate discoveries to improve outcomes for cancer patients. The adoption of the electronic health records (EHR), now utilized by 90 percent of US physicians, was a key component of that vision. Dr. Bertagnolli pointed to significant challenges that impede progress, including the lack of standardization in terms and quality of data across EHR that make data sharing complex and interpretation uncertain. Efforts by ASCO include CancerLinQ and mCODE.

Assuring patient privacy and security and obtaining appropriate patient consent for access to information in electronic medical records is a critical component in the success of learning from one patient to benefit another patient.

Want to learn more about this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting? Below are other blogs covering the conference.

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