Leading Health Systems Create Consortium to Accelerate Cancer Precision Medicine Development | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Leading Health Systems Create Consortium to Accelerate Cancer Precision Medicine Development

June 2, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints
Click To View Gallery

Intermountain Healthcare, Stanford Cancer Institute and Providence Health and Services creation of the Oncology Precision Network (OPN), a data sharing network that aggregates clinical, genomics, treatment and outcomes data to advance cancer care.

Syapse, a precision medicine software vendor, also is a founding member of the OPN consortium. The three founding health systems, and Syapse, formed the OPN in response to Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The OPN consortium will share aggregated clinical, molecular, and treatment data through an advanced software platform, rapidly bringing the most promising treatment insights to cancer patients and physicians, according to a joint press release. The collaboration will also increase access to clinical trials.

The collaborating organizations anticipate an immediate 100,000 data sets in the OPN database. When fully implemented, the OPN will impact 50,000 new cancer patients per year, representing three percent of the nation’s total; 200,000 total cancer patients per year; and have more than 1.5 million historical cancer cases, according to the press release.

The OPN consortium comprises data and physicians across 11 states, 79 hospitals and 800 clinics. The consortium aims to include other health systems later in the year, with the long-term goal of impacting cancer care across the United States.

“This consortium exists because we all arrived at the same important conclusion: we need to collaborate across health systems to cure cancer,” Lincoln Nadauld, M.D., executive director of Intermountain Precision Genomics. “Through collaboration, we emphasize the need to learn together to empower physicians and patients in finding solutions to cancer without increasing costs.”

The collaborating organizations believe the OPN consortium will open access to precision medicine and clinical trials for previously underserved cancer patients. The vast majority of cancer patients are not treated by major cancer centers and don’t benefit from high volume based analytics, the organizations stated.

Individually, each of the healthcare organizations have been storing information about patients’ health history, cancer status, labs, molecular and genetic data, and treatments. Collectively, the OPN will use the Syapse technology to link aggregated data between the geographically disparate health systems. This work allows the OPN consortium to increase inter-operability of data sharing, empowering physicians with information that would previously have been unavailable, according to the press release.

Intermountain and Stanford Medicine, through the Stanford Genome Technology Cancer, have already embarked on a new collaborative research program with the aim of providing scientific advances in precision health and medicine, as previously reported by Healthcare Informatics.

According to Thomas Brown, M.D., executive director of the Swedish Cancer Institute and co-chair Providence Health & Services Personalized Medicine Program, the highest quality cancer care is predicated on clinical trial participation and currently very few cancer patients can access trials that are matched based on the genetic make-up of their cancer. “This partnership will further our efforts to provide customized therapies that are based on the biological features of both the patient and their unique cancer.”

“This dynamic network will also allow us to approach precision oncology from a ‘big data’ point of view,” said Jim Ford, M.D., associate professor of medicine (oncology) and genetics at Stanford and director of clinical cancer genomics at the Stanford Cancer Institute, said. “By aggregating all of our real patient experiences, we will rapidly expand our ability to learn how to choose the best targeted treatments for our cancer patients based on the molecular profile of their tumor and our informatics based research.”

The OPN consortium builds on prior work by each of the parties, including a study of the clinical effectiveness of precision medicine by Intermountain Healthcare and Syapse. This study demonstrated a doubling of progression free survival without increasing the cost of care in stage 4 patients. Additionally, Providence, through Swedish Cancer Institute, developed a sophisticated algorithm to match patients with clinical trials most likely to benefit their “molecular type” of cancer.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Analysis: Healthcare Ransomware Attacks Decline in First Half of 2018

In the first half of 2018, ransomware events in major healthcare data breaches diminished substantially compared to the same time period last year, as cyber attackers move on to more profitable activities, such as cryptojacking, according to a new report form cybersecurity firm Cryptonite.

Dignity Health, UCSF Health Partner to Improve the Digital Patient Experience

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a digital engagement platform that officials believe will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

Report: Digital Health VC Funding Surges to Record $4.9 Billion in 2018

Global venture capital funding for digital health companies in the first half of 2018 was 22 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) with a record $4.9 billion raised in 383 deals compared to the $4 billion in 359 deals in the same time period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

ONC Roundup: Senior Leadership Changes Spark Questions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has continued to experience changes within its upper leadership, leading some folks to again ponder what the health IT agency’s role will be moving forward.

Media Report: Walmart Hires Former Humana Executive to Run Health Unit

Reigniting speculation that Walmart and insurer Humana are exploring ways to forge a closer partnership, Walmart Inc. has hired a Humana veteran to run its health care business, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Value-Based Care Shift Has Halted, Study Finds

A new study of 451 physicians and health plan executives suggests that progress toward value-based care has stalled. In fact, it may have even taken a step backward over the past year, the research revealed.