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Vice President Joe Biden's cancer moonshot program signs up scores of public and private-sector partners

Over 350 oncology researchers, data and technology experts, alongside with more 6,000 people at linked events nationwide gathered for the initiative.

Mike Miliard, Editor, Healthcare IT News

At the Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden announced a long list of federal and health industry initiatives meant to harness technological and clinical advances to make significant headway in the fight against the disease.

"Today, for the first time, physicians, scientists, nurses, patient advocates, families, and cancer survivors are coming together with foundations, companies, and institutions all at once, all around the country, all under the same national charge," said Biden. "Making a decade's worth of progress in five years in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer."

Biden was joined by more than 350 oncology researchers, data and technology experts, as well as patients and families. Together with more 6,000 people at linked events nationwide, it's billed as the the first time a group that expansive and diverse has met to tackle a government initiative such as this.

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[Also: HHS announces physician groups selected for initiative promoting better cancer care]

The new partnerships, initiatives, investments and policies announced hope to accelerate new cancer therapies, improve prevention and diagnosis and broaden patient access to care:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced new incentives for coordinated cancer care. CMS has enrolled nearly 200 participating physician practices – including more than 3,200 oncologists – in its Oncology Care Model, a multi-payer framework focused on incentivizing high-quality, high-value and patient-focused care. The participants commit to offering enhanced services to Medicare beneficiaries such as care coordination and navigation, and agree to use national treatment guidelines for care. CMS, meanwhile, will supply practice feedback data for continuous care improvement.

The National Institutes of Health is collaborating with 12 biopharma companies – as well as research foundations, philanthropies and the foundation for the NIH – to develop the Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies, or PACT.  It will fund pre-competitive cancer research and share data generated for further research – with the aim of bringing more new therapies to patients in less time.

The Department of Energy and National Cancer Institute, along with GlaxoSmithKline, have launched a public-private partnership to harness high-performance computing and diverse biological data to accelerate the drug discovery process and bring new cancer therapies from target to first in human trials in less than a year.

[Also: Vice President Joe Biden on cancer moonshot: Developers 'need to break down silos']

The FDA is ramping up its provide accessible information for physicians and patients looking for investigational drug treatments in cases of serious or life-threatening conditions. The agency is also upping its efforts to establish a "navigator" program to serve as a connection point between patients, providers and drug developers to facilitate expanded access requests.

PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, has initiated a planning group – comprising patients, clinicians and investigators – that will work to develop approaches for using real-world electronic data to address research needs in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, as well as tackling disparities in cancer care and outcomes. The group will collaborate with other sponsors of real-world clinical data collection and analysis to harmonize cancer-related data from various electronic health record systems for use in large research and quality improvement programs.

The Harvard Medical and Business Schools will launch prize-based challenges in cancer research to scale Coding for Cancer. In collaboration with the Crowd Innovation Lab at Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science, researchers will work with cancer-related foundations and the global oncology research community to identify computational bottlenecks in cancer research and design prize challenges to solve them.

Creative Commons will provide open educational resources, and tools that will support researchers, funders, medical professionals, and professors as they build open and collaborative communities for cancer research. These materials will include guides for adopting and implementing open licensing policies, training materials regarding working openly and using licensed materials and data, and technical tools for applying open licenses to shared works.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com