Brain Trust Unites To Fight Cancer With Technology

David Delaney

CGRDuZcWoAACSpnLast month I had the privilege of attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. More than 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world came to Chicago to attend this huge event to network with colleagues and learn about cancer breakthroughs and new treatment therapies. It was truly a brain trust of people who came together for the important mission of advancing their collective ability to fight cancer.

Being surrounded by passion for such an important cause perfectly illustrated the reason why SAP and ASCO are working together: to create a platform that will truly make a difference in people’s lives.

Information technology (IT) is becoming more integrated into healthcare, improving it and making it more data-driven. The process has been slower than many had hoped, but we are on the cusp of some truly transformative capabilities.

CancerLinQ platform

ASCO’s CancerLinQ, built on the SAP HANA platform, represents precisely that—a game-changing application of technology to speed research and drive more personalized treatment decisions for cancer patients.This platform was unveiled at ASCO’s annual meeting to its members. After CancerLinQ was unveiled during Dr. Peter Yu’s presidential keynote, members were able to interact with CancerLinQ at its booth on the convention floor. Feedback was extremely positive with many practices and provider organizations eager to leverage the technology in their care of patients.

Dr. Peter Yu, immediate past president of ASCO, said it best in his opening address to the audience: “Here again, I am proud to say that ASCO is out in front, leading. Since January, ASCO and SAP have combined our resources for the co-innovation of CancerLinQ, the world’s first rapid learning health system for oncology.”

CancerLinQ is unique. It is a physician-driven initiative that will begin to move beyond the 3% of patients represented in oncology clinical trials today. It will begin to leverage the broader dataset of the entire cancer patient population. This much larger dataset, combined with the speed and simplicity of HANA, will dramatically accelerate the ability to create insight as well as empower new tools that leverage more data-driven decision making. These capabilities are of particular importance for patients with uncommon types of cancers and those with factors that would have excluded them from clinical trials that are typically the basis for treatment decisions. This additional information can lead to more informed decision.

Ultimately, this is just the beginning. The CancerLinQ platform will host tools built by oncologists for oncologists, leveraging SAP HANA’s in-memory capability to enable rapid and deep insights into the data that were previously not possible. As a doctor, I am thrilled to be playing a role in this profound shift to using all available data, wherever it lives, to empower better, more personalized and data-driven decisions. As a SAP employee, I am proud that this is being built on HANA and that we are working with ASCO, the leading physician organization in oncology.


David Delaney

About David Delaney

David Delaney is the Chief Medical Officer of Healthcare Sector at SAP. His responsibilities include leading strategic innovation with key customers, driving product strategy and direction, and engaging with senior leadership from current and prospective clients across the provider, payer, and government healthcare sectors.

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Cancer