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Ohio State, Moffitt Form Cancer Research Collaboration for Big Data

June 4, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, and the Tampa, Fla.-based Moffitt Cancer Center are collaborating to form what is likely the world’s largest cancer research collaboration for big data, the organization’s officials say.

Named the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), the new partnership will launch with over 100,000 consented patients who have agreed to donate their tissue and clinical data for research to understand cancer at the molecular level. M2Gen, a subsidiary of Moffitt, will serve as ORIEN’s operational and commercial provider for support, bringing expertise in data management and informatics.

ORIEN will  utilize a single protocol, Total Cancer Care, to create a collaborative, “rapid learning” environment that will  aim to share de-identified data to accelerate the development of targeted treatments, allowing researchers and clinicians to more quickly match eligible patients to clinical trials and conduct larger and richer analysis, officials say.

Through data analysis and sharing, ORIEN will provide physicians evidence of the best therapeutic options, including clinical trial treatments, specific to a patient’s biological and epidemiological profile, increasing the likelihood of treatment efficacy, speeding response time, and potentially minimizing side effects while improving outcomes. Patients are followed throughout their lifetime and can play an active role in the study of their cancer and improve care for future generations.

ORIEN’s approach to clinical trial matching also presents a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to modernize trial recruitment and facilitate adaptive clinical trial design. Through M2Gen, industry researchers will be able to match their targeted drugs to participating patients within ORIEN cancer center members based on their molecular profile, promoting greater trial efficiency and flexibility.  Ultimately, researchers will be better equipped to identify potential candidates for their drug trials, leading to better outcomes.  ORIEN also creates the ability to accelerate and improve efficiencies of clinical trials and the drug approval process, including post-market surveillance.

“With ORIEN, we’re amassing a true national cancer database for the first time,” said Michael Caligiuri, M.D., director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.  “The collaboration across academic centers and with healthcare industry will not only help speed discovery, but will also provide patients with more personalized treatment options and ultimately, lead to better outcomes.”

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