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“Changing the Game in Cancer” through workplace wellbeing, diversity of clinical trial operations and improved data sharing will be among the topics for discussion at our Annual Meeting and Conference to be held online Sept. 22.
We’ll also talk with Bob Ingram, our Founding Chairman, about the work he’s now doing as a member of the President’s Cancer Panel.
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer Annual Meeting and Conference led by Chairman Bob Bradway, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amgen, is going online because of the phased reopening of states post coronavirus. But this opens the door for wider participation by member staff without the time and expense of travel.
Breakout sessions are being designed for leaders in R&D, public policy, human relations, benefits, community affairs, inclusion and diversity, corporate responsibility, and marketing.
The event begins with the Annual Meeting for official company representatives from 11 a.m. until noon.
Everyone is invited for the 12:15-1:15 p.m. session about the President’s Cancer Panel. Then breakout sessions will follow from 1:30-2 p.m. and be repeated from 2:15-3 p.m.
More details will follow by email but please mark your calendar.
Are registries the key to advancing treatment of rare cancers? We hope to find answers to that question and to identify obstacles blocking the promise of registries and solutions to overcome those challenges in the FDA-PDS Symposium IX on Oct. 7.
This symposium will be held online for the first time but the goal is the same as in past years: elevate the conversation about this research area, which is ripe for fresh attention and energy from academia, industry and FDA. The event will run from noon until about 3 pm EDT.
We are honored and excited to welcome keynote speaker Dr. David Fajgenbaum, a groundbreaking physician-scientist, disease hunter, speaker, and author of the national bestselling memoir, Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope Into Action.
Fajgenbaum nearly died five times battling Castleman disease. To try to save his own life, he developed and led an innovative approach to research through the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) and discovered a possible treatment that has put him into an extended remission.
We are eager to hear the unique perspectives and insights of Dr. Fajgenbaum. This is a session that’s sure to inspire.
The symposium brings together multiple stakeholders representing most aspects of the rare disease challenge: practice in the clinic, pharmaceutical research, policy and regulatory science, and patient advocacy to brainstorm the operational dynamics between the groups.
Mark your calendar. More details and registration information will be coming via email soon.
Work is progressing to update the Five Pillars of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™, the employer-led health and wellness accreditation program of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. Key changes identified so far include increased focus on well-being in the workplace and increased support for cancer survivors and their return to work.
“More than 7 million employees have better access to cancer prevention and treatment because their employer implemented the Gold Standard,” said MaryLis Rich, President of the Cancer Gold Standard and Member Services. “But we’re going for Gold and that requires us to reach higher and expand our influence if we are truly going to fight cancer.”
A Steering Committee of experts is guiding the work, which relies on the latest research about key steps to improve health. The team also is incorporating evidence from recent events such as the pandemic, which emphasize the need for employee resilience. That team includes:
- David Shepperly, MD, Executive Director Occupational Health, Bristol Myers Squibb
- Marcelo C. Targino, MD, MPH, Chief Employee Health Officer & Corporate Medical Director, Johnson & Johnson
- L. Michelle Bennett, PhD, Director Center for Research Strategy, National Cancer Institute
- Otis Brawley, MD, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and a globally recognized expert in cancer prevention and control.
- Ron Goetzel, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.
Information about the CEO Cancer Gold Standard update will be shared at the Annual Meeting and Conference and by email.
Global biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb, based in Princeton, NJ, has earned the prestigious Global CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM accreditation for its ongoing commitment to reduce cancer risk for employees and their family members around the world.
“We are proud of this prestigious accreditation as it demonstrates our long-standing commitment to the health and safety of our employees,” said Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer, Bristol Myers Squibb. “As a company focused on helping patients with serious disease, we are committed to making health and wellness a priority for our employees and their families through a range of programs focused on mental and physical health. We are proud to be recognized for these efforts, which we believe support our ability to deliver on our vision of transforming patients’ lives through science.”
This accreditation recognizes the Company’s exceptional efforts worldwide to reduce cancer risk by promoting healthy lifestyle choices, encouraging early detection through cancer screenings, and ensuring broad access to innovative cancer therapies that are extending lives, improving quality of life and increasing productivity for employees and their family members around the globe.
To be accredited as a Global Gold Standard organization, employers must achieve and maintain CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation in the U.S. and China, maintain a tobacco-free policy worldwide, and satisfy the essence and spirit of the five key areas of workplace wellness that are foundations of the Gold Standard.
Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit BMS.com.
Eighteen employers are celebrating their ten-year anniversary as CEO Cancer Gold Standard employers, an exceptional accomplishment and testament to their strong commitment to the health of their employees.
“Employers can play a huge role in reducing cancer risks among their employees with programs that include behavior modification, mental well-being and cancer screenings,” said Steve Rusckowski, Chairman, CEO and President, Quest Diagnostics.
In addition to Quest Diagnostics, the following employers are leading by example and celebrating ten years of leadership:
- AlphaMed Press
- Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Care
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
- Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
- Cerner Corporation
- Dell Technologies
- Fairview Health Services
- Goodmans Interior Structures
- Hawai’i Pacific Health
- Logistics Health
- MDU Resources Group, Inc.
- Moda, Inc.
- RTI International
- RWJBarnabas Health
- Susan G. Komen
- UPMC Chautauqua.
To earn Gold Standard accreditation, an employer must take concrete actions to reduce the risk and burden of cancer: prohibit tobacco use and support tobacco cessation efforts; promote physical activity, healthy nutrition and weight management; provide health insurance options that include detecting cancer at its earliest stages, access to quality care and participation in cancer clinical trials; promote employee awareness of these initiatives; and support the needs of cancer survivors in the workplace.
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer started 2020 with a new leadership team and a new vision to take the Roundtable and its programs to the next level.
K. Andrew Crighton, M.D. has joined as Chief Executive Officer of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and Project Data Sphere®. He succeeds founding CEO, Martin J. Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, who will remain with the organization as a member of the board of directors and chief executive of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer-China.
MaryLisabeth Rich arrived in mid-January as CEORT - President Gold Standard and Member Engagement.
Betty Whichard moved to the role of Chief Financial Officer, a position that Ken Lee held for many years pro-bono. We will continue to rely on Ken as a strategic advisor in the future.
The team is talking with Roundtable members, supporters and potential members to learn more about the latest challenges employers face in building a healthy workforce.
“One of the gaps we’ve placed as a high priority is health disparities,” Andy said. “CEOs through their personal visibility and their corporate profile have the opportunity to improve the health and well-being for their community as well as employees but we need to pivot from the approach we have taken in the past.”
Andy has 20 years of experience engaging business leaders to develop measures that identify the impact of the work environment on well-being at individual and organizational levels. He recently retired as chief medical officer at Prudential Financial, where he oversaw the health and well-being, safety and medical business consulting worldwide and led a strategic transformation of the business towards a more holistic view of health, including physical, emotional, social, spiritual, financial and cognitive well-being.
MaryLisabeth previously was Senior Vice President Development for the American Cancer Society Global Headquarters in Atlanta. During almost 15 years with the ACS and its foundation over two stints, she has been a catalyst for building relationships, forging partnerships, executive engagement, mustering resources and advancing investments across the organization’s portfolio.
She also spent nine years in Higher Education Philanthropy, playing an integral part in three capital campaigns totaling $600 million, and was the executive director for Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). While at SRC, she developed and implemented communication and marketing in support of a $100 million annual research allocation operation among other accomplishments.
Betty joined the Roundtable and PDS in August 2018. Before that, she served as Vice President of Finance and Administration for The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, where she managed assets totaling approximately $315 million. She previously was Financial Manager of Foundations & the Alumni Association at East Carolina University. She also spent nine years as Chief Financial Officer, ERM and Operations Manager for 102 store locations for Trade Oil Co.
After Trade Oil Co. merged with WilcoHess in 2005, Betty served as the Director of Finance and Enterprise Risk Management. She also served as the General Financial and Administrative Manager for the Greenville, NC, divisional office. Betty has spent more than 17 years in public accounting serving a diverse clientele.
Robert A. Ingram, Founding Chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, has been appointed to the President’s Cancer Panel, which advises the nation’s chief executive about barriers to progress in reducing the burden of cancer.
He will be part of a fireside chat at the CEO Roundtable on Cancer Annual Meeting on Sept. 21-22 in Cary, NC., to update us on the Panel’s work and gather input from us. The Panel, which was established by law in 1971, forms recommendations and presents them to President Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Ingram, a general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, formed and chaired the CEO Roundtable on Cancer at the request of President George H.W. Bush in 2001.
Previously, Mr. Ingram was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Glaxo Wellcome where he co-led the merger and integration that formed GlaxoSmithKline. Upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 60, Mr. Ingram served as the Vice Chairman, Pharmaceuticals at GSK, before becoming Strategic Advisor to the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
Mr. Ingram is Chairman of the boards of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Novan, a late-stage pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology, and Viamet Pharmaceuticals, a private company focused on anti-infective research. He also serves as the Lead Director on the board of Cree.
At the request of President Trump, Mr. Ingram will fill the remainder of a three-year term expiring Feb. 20, 2022.
There were 2 other appointments by President Trump to the Panel:
- John P. Williams, a breast cancer surgeon and medical director of the Breast Cancer School for Patients, and a clinical professor at the Institute for Biohealth Innovation, George Mason University.
- Edith P. Mitchell, a clinical professor of medicine and medical oncology in the Department of Medical Oncology, director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, and associate director of diversity affairs at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University.
More than 2,400 researchers are using the Project Data Sphere® platform to answer important questions about cancer. Many of them have offered feedback on how we can make the platform even easier to use. We are delighted to announce that we expect an updated platform to be available early in 2Q 2020.
A new PDS website will be launched at the same time, offering more information on our programs, introductions to new program managers and easier ways to communicate with us.
The website will be a place that you can register for important events like the PDS Symposium IX on rare cancer registries that we are planning for Oct. 7, 2020, in the Washington DC area.
This annual symposia series has consistently elevated the conversation about research areas that are ripe for fresh attention in the realm of cancer clinical trials, often deriving major new thrusts from academia, industry as well as from our FDA.
Rare cancer registries hold potential to solve some of the most difficult challenges to advancing treatment of these rare cancers, which account for more than 25% of the cancers reported worldwide.
The symposium attempts to bring together multiple stakeholders representing all sides of this challenge: Practice in the clinic, Pharmaceutical research, Policy and regulatory science, and Patient advocacy to brainstorm the operational dynamics between the groups.
Registries can impact these four areas in the following ways:
- Refine clinical decision making and more effectively manage patient therapy.
- Assist pharma in designing comparator arms efficiently, thus accelerating the drug development process.
- Inform regulators who must decide whether to approve new medicines and how to use them in rare cancers.
- Provide relief for the suffering patients with better treatment strategies.
Symposium IX will consider how registries for rare tumors might address these existing shortcomings and drive improvements in patient care. More information will be coming soon.
More than 200 employers are covering 7 million lives through CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation, an impressive population benefitting from increased cancer awareness, prevention and treatment. But the CEO Roundtable on Cancer Gold Standard Task Force is asking whether that’s enough.
“Can we do more as employers to be a catalyst for better health in our communities?” said MaryLisabeth Rich, President of the Gold Standard and Member Services. “Enormous health disparities exist so we need to ask ourselves whether we can bridge the gap in clinical trial diversity through corporate well-being? Healthy communities are good for our business, good for recruiting and retaining employees and it’s the right thing to do.”
MaryLisabeth is exploring the topic with leadership from the Task Force and in preparation for this year’s CEO Roundtable on Cancer Annual Meeting and Conference, where there will be more presentations and discussion of how companies can “Go for the Gold” and reach a higher level of health for their community. One aspect to be explored is a potential partnership between corporate partners and historically black colleges and universities.
BeiGene and John V. Oyler, Chairman, Co-Founder and CEO. BeiGene started in Beijing and has expanded to be a global company. Its focus is discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative, molecularly-targeted, and immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer.
Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and Ken Keller, President and CEO. Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical company with corporate origins in Japan. It provides innovative products and services in more than 20 countries around the world. With more than 100 years of scientific expertise, the company draws upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help patients.
Foundation Medicine Inc. and Brian Alexander, Chief Medical Officer. Foundation Medicine is a molecular information company dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient's unique cancer. The company offers a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling assays to identify the molecular alterations in a patient’s cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials. Foundation Medicine’s molecular information platform aims to improve day-to-day care for patients by serving the needs of clinicians, academic researchers and drug developers to help advance the science of molecular medicine in cancer.
The Menarini Group and CEO Elcin Barker Ergun. Menarini Group, the leading Italian pharmaceutical company in the world, has 17,640 employees in 136 countries, including the US in San Diego and Philadelphia.
At the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, we've come a long way in the 20 years since President George H.W. Bush urged us to do everything we could to defeat cancer. One of the Bushes’ grandsons, Sam LeBlond, recently asked Dr. Martin Murphy to recall the start of the Roundtable and how it has expanded into China.
LeBlond hosts All the Best, a weekly podcast for the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. All the Best features interviews with the Bushes’ family, friends, former colleagues and fellow Points of Light with a special emphasis on service to others.
We hope you’ll take a listen to Episode 15, “The Gold Standard.” The podcast is on Apple podcasts or can be found here: http://allthebestbush.libsyn.com/15-the-gold-standard
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer has accredited Anne Arundel Medical Center with the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM recognizing its efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for its employees and covered family members.
“Anne Arundel Medical Center is honored to be among the leading organizations to achieve the CEO Cancer Gold Standard Accreditation,” said Sherry B. Perkins, president of Anne Arundel Medical Center. “We strive to provide the highest quality of care for our patients and are equally committed to promoting the wellbeing of our employees and their families. We offer the latest technology in diagnostics and treatments with access to innovative research and clinical trials to deliver care and support that comes with compassion. Cancer is not only treating a disease; it’s caring for each person throughout his or her journey.”
Employers from many industries are keenly aware of the positive impact they can have on health and controlling healthcare costs when they take steps to address cancer and other chronic diseases.
COVID-19 immediately affected the conduct of ongoing clinical trials but it equally changed the way they will be conducted in the future, said speakers at the CEO Roundtable on Cancer online conference April 24 on “Maintaining Oncology Clinical Trial Integrity during the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
“Oncology trials represent an important subset of clinical trials,” said Dr. Mace Rothenberg, panel moderator and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer. “There is the serious and life-threatening nature of the disease; the fact that a clinical trial may represent the best or only option for some patients with few or no other therapeutic options; they require special expertise in administration, monitoring, and management of acute adverse events or hypersensitivity reactions; and the use of advanced technology processing samples that cannot be easily performed outside of trial sites.”
There were three primary areas of discussion about trials amid the pandemic: managing patients in studies, managing data from studies, and interpreting trials with missing data and other challenges.
Speakers included clinical trial experts from industry, academia, and the US Food and Drug Administration who shared recent experiences. The audience was invited to pose questions and more than a dozen FDA staff attended the 90-minute panel to gather input and learn more about what’s happening on the front lines of research.
Within the US there have been wide geographic disparities in severity of COVID-19 and response to the virus, which makes trial operations challenging. But many shared accounts of positive results with telemedicine that will become a standard trial feature going forward.
“If there is a silver lining, it is that we are running a grand experiment concerning decentralized trials,” said Dr. Paul Kluetz, Deputy Director, Oncology Center of Excellence, FDA. “We have been interested in this for a long time, because they can show us efficiencies and can be quite patient friendly.”
Other speakers expressed frustration that regulatory agencies around the world do not agree on what trial modifications are permitted.
“Most of our recommendations at the moment have been based on internally coordinating across centers and within FDA and less of a coordination externally with the other regulatory bodies,” said Dr. Patricia Keegan, Associate Director for Policy, Oncology Center for Excellence, FDA. “That’s why I was particularly interested in comments about differences across regulatory agencies that are posing particular problems.”
Panelists agreed that some of the most pressing questions that remain include:
- How should missing trial data be handled? What statistical techniques should be used to address this?
- How do we assess the impact of geographic disparities because of the varying intensity and duration of the pandemic?
- How will we share information about tools and technologies that have been effective for remote monitoring and data collection?
- How should we view the so-called “period” effect related to the time before, during and after COVID?
- What should be site-level protocol deviations versus protocol amendments? Safety measures are being implemented without approval leading to compliance concerns.
- How do we always keep in mind the benefit to patients as well as their safety?
“We are in the middle of a grand experiment. What we don’t know yet is the result of that experiment,” Dr. Dave Reese, Executive Vice President, R&D, Amgen, said in summing up the conference. “What are the conclusions of the experiment? I believe it’s incumbent on all of us to really ask fundamental deep questions of what do we change permanently? There are many things that we must learn from this experiment.”
Most of the attendees represented pharma and biotech industries but government agencies, academia and others, including non-profits, also made up a substantial part of the audience.
Post-event surveys reflected that participants found the content important and they would likely attend a future virtual meeting hosted by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. Discussion is ongoing about future topics for similar events.
Therese Martin represented the CEO Roundtable on Cancer at the 2019 Building Healthy Academic Communities (BHAC) Summit held on the campus of the first BIG Ten University to earn Gold Standard accreditation, The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. BHAC connects health and wellness professionals from US academic institutions in pursuit of healthier campuses.
Recognizing leaders in academia are uniquely suited to influence their own institutions workforce as well as the leaders for tomorrow, Ms. Martin encouraged those in attendance to lead by example by earning Gold Standard accreditation. The message that leadership drives culture and prevention saves lives was well recieved.
More than 90 experts in the oncology community were convened on April 17, 2019, in Bethesda, Md., to focus on immune-related adverse events (irAEs) that can occur with the use of combination checkpoint blockade therapies. Co-sponsored by Project Data Sphere, LLC (PDS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this symposium focused on ways to strengthen irAE and toxicity reporting and data collection so as to better understand which patients are more likely to suffer these often-devastating adverse events. As attendees learned from a patient advocate who spoke, it is not unheard of for a patient who succumbs to an irAE to be tumor-free at the time of death.
Thought leaders organized presentations and panels on the clinical presentation of irAEs and toxicity during combination therapy, preliminary findings from immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) clinical trial data submitted to the FDA and post-marketing surveillance data, and current initiatives to accelerate knowledge with biorepositories and patient registries. The Symposium was distinguished by the FDA presentations of selected clinical trial data on ICIs and the post-market surveillance (FAERS) data on adverse events associated with ICIs; neither of these rich FDA data sources had ever been presented.