The Role of Comparative Effectiveness Research in Total Cancer Care™

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In my previous entry, I discussed how the launch of the Total Cancer Care™ initiative at Moffitt Cancer Center nearly eight years ago led to the development of one of the largest prospective observational studies in the world.  Through the enrollment of more than 60,000 patients and collection and genetic profiling of tens of thousands of tumors, Total Cancer Care™ collaborators have generated a vast information system to be leveraged as a clinical decision tool, and as a means of quality performance and comparative effectiveness research (CER).

One of the stated aims of Total Cancer Care™ is to raise the standard of care for all patients by integrating new technologies in an evidence-based approach to maximize benefits and reduce costs.  Although we developed this aim over seven years ago, I believe it is completely consistent with the current definition of comparative effectiveness being used by AHRQ and other policymakers. 

As I mentioned in my previous entry, strategic partnerships are an essential component to achieving the goals of Total Cancer Care™, and this is clearly demonstrated in our efforts in CER. Dr. David Fenstermacher and colleagues from Moffitt as well as the Institute of Human and  Machine  Cognition (IHMC), in Pensacola, Fla., are collaborating on a major NIH/NCI grant to enhance the Total Cancer Care™ infrastructure to support CER by expanding data management resources, integrating  automated data extraction methodologies (including natural language processing technology a particular area of expertise for IHMC), and creating user interfaces to data for researchers, clinicians and even patients. 

A major focus of our current efforts in CER is to determine the information and technology gaps in the CER infrastructure for data capture and data sharing.  Ultimately, it will be important to involve the community at large who are enrolling patients in the Total Cancer Care™ Protocol so that they can use the Total Cancer Care™ data warehouse as a decision tool based on evidence generated by the study itself.  The importance of the community network cannot be over emphasized both for populating the Total Cancer Care™ biorepository and database, and the ultimate utilization of the information and evidence generated for delivering the right treatment for the right patient.

To enhance Moffit’ts ability to establish this large research initiative the cancer center formed a wholly owned for-profit company, M2Gen, in 2006.  Merck and Co., Inc., through a Merck affiliate, signed on as our ”Founding Collaborator”. This experience has taught us how to service a global healthcare client and produce measurable scientific insights to accelerate drug candidates through translational medicine advances.

One Response to “The Role of Comparative Effectiveness Research in Total Cancer Care™”

  1. The Patient as Collaborator: How Personalized Medicine is Giving Back to the Patient « The Age of Personalized Medicine Blog Says:

    […] The Age of Personalized Medicine Blog Experts discuss the latest science and policy issues in personalized medicine « The Role of Comparative Effectiveness Research in Total Cancer Care™ […]

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