The American Society of Clinical Oncology's data collection partnership now includes 58 community oncology practices in 39 states, the group announced Monday.
The CancerLinQ program is a big-data effort designed to give physicians the ability to analyze and compare treatments and outcomes with best practices across the country.
The initiative, which launched six months ago, has practices send ASCO the medical records of their cancer patients. That enables those and other physicians to compare their treatments and outcomes to others across the U.S.
Since January, 58 practices with approximately 750,000 patient medical records have agreed to participate, said Kevin Fitzpatrick, CEO of CancerLinQ. Fitzpatrick said ASCO is in talks with 200 other physician practices who are interested in joining. He estimates this will account for the medical records of millions of patients.
Fitzpatrick said the initiative will allow physicians to uncover trends in their own patient population and compare it to cancer patients nationwide. “(Physicians) are hungry for these kinds of solutions. It provides a more holistic view of their practice and benchmark to compare,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick said the initiative is targeting the medical history of the 97% of cancer patients that don't participate in clinical trials.
Oncologist Dr. Peter Eisenberg at Marin General Hospital said his practice was the first to join CancerLinQ. Eisenberg said it provides physicians with an opportunity to analyze best treatment practices for patients with similar cancers. For example, if a treatment proved effective for one lung cancer patient, a physician can try it for their own patient with a similar medical background.
“We hope it will help drive treatment decisions,” Eisenberg said. “It will also give us some insight into the nature of our patient population and our style in treatment so that we'll be able to compare our style some larger benchmarks.”
Eisenberg said the practice is still working with ASCO to fully implement the program.