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Big Data in Oncology Spotlight

IP Blog | Dave Melin | April 21, 2015

This week in health care trends, our spotlight includes big data and personalized medicine, more conservative breast cancer screening guidelines, and NCI’s growing SEER program.

The articles below are from our dedicated Big Data in Oncology e-magazine. We’re constantly adding valuable content to this updateable magazine, so make sure to check our e-magazine frequently for new intelligence. You can follow us on Flipboard or Twitter, or just watch for the links to this and our other magazines in our regular weekly BioBlog emails. (Don’t get our emails yet? Subscribe here!)

big data cancer button3 Ways Big Data Will Personalize Medicine

This Forbes article takes a look at the ways information technology is transforming health care: contributing to better data gathering in population health studies, modernizing health care providers, and fighting cancer through precision medicine.

USPSTF rejects expanded breast cancer guidelines

This week the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced that it “declined to expand its recommendation on which women should receive regular mammography screening, instead issuing a draft of new breast screening guidelines that largely hew to its more conservative guidance from 2009.”

Future Directions for NCI’s Surveillance Research Program

In this article, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) discusses future plans for its Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, which gathers information on cancer incidence. The program, which currently covers 28% of the US population, will aim in the future to grow into “a national resource to better support cancer research and provide more clinically relevant information to understand cancer trends and outcomes.”

U.S. Breast Cancer Cases Expected to Increase by as Much as 50 Percent by 2030

According to a recent study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) recent conference, “The total number of breast cancer cases in the United States is forecast to be 50 percent greater in 2030 than it was in 2011, when invasive and in-situ or screening-detected cancers are counted together, and this increase is driven mostly by a marked increase in cases of estrogen receptor (ER)–positive tumors and in women older than 70.”

The Value of Data

This piece takes a look at the case study of USNews.com to argue that the Electronic Health Record (EHR) debate is missing the point: “The publisher thought they were in the print magazine industry, in the same way the railroads famously thought they were in the railroad business. The railroads learned the hard way that what customers needed was transportation, and magazines have learned that what people need is the information. I think, unfortunately, that a similar misconception is clouding the conversation about electronic health records.”

Finding the Stars of Hospital Care in the US

In this article, Dr. Ashish Jha explains CMS’s new star rating system for hospitals, why he thinks it’s a good idea, and what the star-rating data tells us about the hospitals in question: “What did we find? We found that large, non-profit, teaching, safety-net hospitals located in the northeastern or western parts of the country were far less likely to be rated highly (i.e. receiving 5 stars) than small, for-profit, non-teaching, non-safety-net hospitals located in the South or Midwest. The differences were big.”


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