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A manuscript published in December 2020 in Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications highlights work by Project Data Sphere and RTI International (RTI) to improve access to clinical trial data supporting research on health care disparities.
“Enhancing the Analytic Utility of Clinical Trial Data to Inform Health Disparities Research” describes how Steven B. Cohen and his team at RTI are augmenting selected PDS patient-level cancer phase III clinical datasets by linking the social, economic, and health-related characteristics of like cancer survivors from nationally representative health and health care-related survey data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).
MEPS, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is the nation's primary source of nationally representative, comprehensive, person-level data on health care use, insurance coverage, and expenses.
“Clinical trials, for example, are used to identify safe and effective treatments for all those with cancer but are often conducted among younger, healthier, and less racially diverse patients than the population at large,” the article notes. “As a result, there is an increasing interest in diversifying clinical trial patients to ensure that resultant treatments are suited for those who are disproportionately affected in the first place.”
Data providers are required to de-identify patient-level data before submitting it to PDS. That means removing social and demographic content that could otherwise be used to study underserved populations and factors that contribute to health inequities.
With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PDS and RTI International are working to address that gap. The enhanced data will help researchers explore the influence of healthcare access, socioeconomic factors, and health behaviors on the patient-level representativeness and outcomes data.
At our Vision 2020 Annual Conference and Meeting, our Founding CEO Bob Ingram shared that the U.S. President’s Cancer Panel on which he is a member is looking closely at “Improving Resilience and Equity in Cancer Screening: Lessons from COVID-19 and Beyond.”
The Panel identifies high-priority topics, convenes meetings with key experts, frames possible recommendations, and submits a report to the President of the United States.
Ingram challenged conference participants to maintain Gold Standard accredited status. “The best thing we can do as the CEO Roundtable on Cancer members is to strive to be Gold Standard in our practices while encouraging others to join in and grow membership,” he said.
Read more or watch the video here.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operating under the name EMD Serono in the US and Canada, has been honored with the 2020 Dr. Charles A. Sanders Award for collaborative scientific research in cancer.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has been part of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer since 2012 and has earned CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ accreditation since 2011. In 2017, the company partnered with Project Data Sphere to establish the Global Oncology Big Data Alliance (GOBDA) to fuel collaborations in oncology, data science, and regulatory policy.
"Here at HPU, we place a high priority on employee wellness because a happy person is a healthy person,” says HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein. “We prepare our students for the world as it is going to be and to do that, we need our faculty and staff to feel their best every day. We will continue to stay committed to keeping our employees and our campus community at their healthiest.”
Experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), industry, and academia convened on October 7 for a virtual symposium on Rare Cancer Registries. Dr. Julia Beaver, Chief of Medical Oncology at the FDA said the meeting focus was: “To address critical questions in the field of rare cancer registries, with an ultimate goal to drive improvements in patient treatment, bringing safe and effective drugs to patients with rare malignancies in the most efficient and expeditious manner.”
The speakers shared how registry data have been used to advance research and improve clinical care for rare cancers within their own disciplines, discussed best practices for registry construction and data application, addressed how to integrate diverse types of data to make rare cancer registry data even more valuable, and strategized how best to support data-sharing and generalizability. Throughout the presentations and discussions, collaboration, transparency, and long-term planning emerged as fundamental to the most effective use of this powerful research tool.
Here is the link to read more or watch the videos.
We are grateful to all who participated in the CEO Roundtable on Cancer Vision 2020 Annual Meeting and Conference. It was a vibrant and collaborative forum that helped progress our shared mission of advancing cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
Leaders outline priorities for 2020 and beyond
Although it was the 19th such event, the Annual Meeting on September 22 was the first virtual meeting due to the pandemic and the first to offer a series of workshops aimed at a range of company leaders who could participate online. CEO Roundtable on Cancer Chairman Bob Bradway, also CEO of Amgen, led the session with a challenge and call to action.
“Amid all the uncertainty and disruption caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, some things have remained the same and one of them, sadly, is that cancer never takes a day off. We can’t let the distraction of the pandemic take our eyes off the unacceptable toll in terms of death, pain and suffering that’s caused by cancer.”
- Bob Bradway, Chairman, CEO Roundtable on Cancer
Dr. Andy Crighton, CEO of the Roundtable on Cancer, said the work of the Roundtable has not slowed down. He said five new members were added to the organization: Menarini Group, BeiGene, Daiichi Sankyo, Foundation Medicine and Alphanumeric Systems. We are reaching out to new sectors including financial and technology to build on a base of life science members. The expertise of these sectors is needed as we expand Gold Standard accreditation and seek to accelerate cancer research.
Crighton noted that the Gold Standard remains an accreditation and not an award. “An accreditation is earned and must be maintained. Therefore, you can be assured that a Gold Standard company still has the practices and policies in place even with a change in leadership,” Crighton said.
He announced the Gold Standard is being expanded to include well-being.
"The definition of well-being is how people think, feel and function on a personal and social level and how they evaluate life. Organizations can have a positive or negative impact on an individual’s well-being. Individuals with a strong sense of well-being are better able to withstand critical issues such as a cancer diagnosis so it is important that we build this into our Gold Standard to help companies move forward."
- Dr. K. Andrew Crighton, Chief Executive Officer, CEO Roundtable on Cancer
MaryLisabeth Rich, CEO Roundtable on Cancer President, congratulated Bristol Myers Squibb for its Global Gold Standard achievement and welcomed newly Gold Standard accredited organizations Anne Arundel Medical Center, High Point University, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Memorial Hermann Health System.
She said the Gold Standard update includes an important focus on health equity, which will be incorporated in each pillar. This focus has inspired a new initiative to launch in early 2021 that looks to partner Gold Standard companies with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to accelerate our mission and extend accreditation benefits to communities experiencing cancer disparities. Since the meeting, the scope of the project has expanded to include Hispanic-serving institutions.
“We want to make the Gold Standard Pillars active and living in the HBCU setting so they are not just applicable to HBCU employees but to students and communities. The cancer belt in the US overlaps with the strongest geographic concentration of HBCUs. CEOs are equipped to do this because of the Gold Standard framework, because corporations have high impact and care about the communities where they live and work and because health is a priority for each and every one of our members."
- MaryLisbeth Rich, President, CEO Roundtable on Cancer
Crighton said another CEO Roundtable initiative, Project Data Sphere, is making great strides in delivering research results and data access. He said that in 2021 we “need to broaden the view of how we look at data and be able to incorporate new data with restricted access for a short period of time but then continue to look to put it into the open platform.”
Bill Louv, President of Project Data Sphere, agreed that his team is making steady progress getting more data on the platform. He said usage of that information is increasing and a reflection of productivity, the number of peer-reviewed journal articles based on platform data, is up to 87.
“That is dramatic evidence demonstrating that open sharing is a very effective model,” Louv said. But he warned that, “there are some headwinds here with increased concern about privacy, about IP, about cost of deidentifying data sets. We see some of our data providers becoming more reticent about sharing patient level data.”
He said PDS will take a leadership position in advocating for more sharing and reuse of clinical trial data.
“We provide patient level data in an open science platform. That is unique. The other platforms have accomplished great transparency and discoverability by bringing together meta data for most of the clinical trials that are sponsored in this country. There’s quite a path from discoverability via meta data to actually acquiring or getting permission to use the patient level data.”
- Dr. William Louv, President, Project Data Sphere
Louv also gave an update on the five PDS research programs that leverage data from the platform.
The meeting was followed by a series of shorter sessions focused on well-being, health disparities, data sharing and AI applied to measuring tumor progression. In a general session, Roundtable Founding CEO Bob Ingram shared about the work he is doing as a member of the President’s Cancer Panel.
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer Board of Directors approved a refresh of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™, its employer-led health and wellness accreditation program, at a September meeting.
One key change is increased focus on well-being in the workplace. Dr. Andy Crighton, CEO of the Roundtable on Cancer, said: “Individuals with a strong sense of well-being are better able to withstand critical issues such as a cancer diagnosis so it is important that we build this into our Gold Standard to help companies move forward.”
MaryLisabeth Rich, CEO Roundtable on Cancer President, highlighted a focus on health equity that will be incorporated in each pillar and, as part of a new initiative to launch in early 2021, that will look to extend the CEO Cancer Gold Standard to Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCU) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI).
“We want to make the Gold Standard Pillars active and living in the HBCU and HSI setting so they are not just applicable to employees but to students and communities,” she said. Ways to grow this partnership opportunity were discussed in the Diversity Partnerhip session lead by Dr. Otis Brawley. You can read more or watch the video here.
“We are honored that Huntsman Cancer Institute has been welcomed into the Gold Standard community,” said Mary Beckerle, PhD, chief executive officer of HCI. “As the official cancer center of the state of Utah, we must take our own best advice and implement programs that prevent cancer and reduce cancer risk for our own workforce. This recognition strengthens our commitment to work together to deliver a cancer-free frontier.”
Welcome to our newest member, Alphanumeric Systems, and their Chief Executive Officer Randy Trice!
Alphanumeric helps life science companies improve the HCP, patient, and employee experience with a digital transformation of the Healthcare Professional (HCP) & patient experience, global contact centers powered by AI and talent, omni-channel strategy, localization efforts, and more. It is a multinational company with offices in five countries.
Trice started at Alphanumeric Systems Inc. in a consulting capacity to develop its sales and market growth strategies. In January of 2018, he became CEO of Alphanumeric, and has restructured the company to focus on client expansion and to pursue a platform that emphasizes Life Sciences and Artificial Intelligence.
He began his career on Wall Street with Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette. Trice then served as Managing Director at Refco Inc., where he ran the risk management group in oil and gas derivatives and served on the Natural Gas Advisory Board for the New York Mercantile Exchange. After leaving New York City, he was the President of several companies in Texas, including Contego Solutions and Source Inc., that specialized in information technology, IT outsourcing and unified communications.
Alphanumeric Systems and Randy Trice, Chief Executive Officer. Alphanumeric helps life science companies remove the friction from the HCP, patient, and employee experience. We do this by adding a digital transformation of the Healthcare Professional (HCP) & patient experience, global contact centers powered by AI and talent, omni-channel strategy, localization efforts, and more. Whether you are focused on clinical trials, acquisition, or adherence, Alphanumeric can help. We believe that no matter how great your vision, it is the people who will make that vision a reality.
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.