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Initiative Updates


April 08, 2021
Gold Standard re-accreditation waived for 2021
Gold Standard

Re-accreditation for the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ will be waived for 2021 as employers work even harder to focus on the health and well-being of their employees while also enforcing COVID-19 precautions.

This also gives us additional time to update our tools, resources and processes so we can continue to help you address the cancer burden and together create solutions for ending cancer.

Any questions should be addressed to MaryLis Rich, CEO Roundtable on Cancer President, or Therese Martin, Senior Manager.

April 08, 2021
Gold Standard Health Champions celebrate World Cancer Day
Gold Standard


CEO Gold Standard™ accredited companies made some positive noise on World Cancer Day on Feb. 4! Each company was mailed a Health Champion flag to raise and demonstrate their commitment to defeating cancer and building health.

There were social media posts and You Tube videos from many locations, generating lots of positive notice for you, your work and this cause. We truly were inspired and hope it made your employees as well as your community proud to see your commitment to defeating cancer and building health.

The flags are designed for flying on special opportunities throughout the year whether it’s a cancer awareness day, benefits enrollment periods, employee recruiting events, or return to work post pandemic.

Thank you again for being a Health Champion!

April 06, 2021
New Board Members Join CEO Roundtable
CEO Roundtable on Cancer

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer welcomes two new members to our Board of Directors: Dr. Belén Garijo, Vice Chair of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Dr. Peter WT Pisters, President of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Garijo, a practicing physician who specialized in clinical pharmacology, has been appointed as new Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, effective May 1. She joined the company in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer of the Biopharma business and rose to President and CEO of Healthcare in 2015.

Dr. Pisters, a renowned cancer surgeon, researcher, professor and administrator, became President of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2017 after serving more than 20 years as a faculty member and medical director for the center’s expansion in metropolitan Houston. Prior to that, he served as President and CEO of the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada’s largest academic medical center.

“Doctors Belén Garijo and Peter Pisters share a passion for fighting cancer and their insights will be invaluable in our ongoing quest to eliminate this terrible disease,” said Robert Bradway, CEO Roundtable on Cancer Chairman and Amgen CEO.

April 06, 2021
GRAIL Newest CEO Roundtable Member
CEO Roundtable on Cancer

The CEO Roundtable welcomes as a new member GRAIL, Inc., a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, and Chief Executive Officer Hans Bishop, who has more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry.

Bishop founded Juno Therapeutics in 2013 and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer until the company was acquired by Celgene in March of 2018. Prior to this, he served as an Executive in Residence at Warburg Pincus. Earlier in his career, he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Dendreon, Inc. He also previously served as President of Specialty Medicine at Bayer Healthcare, Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Operations at Chiron Corporation, and Vice President and General Manager of European Biopharmaceuticals. He currently serves as the Executive Chair of the Sana Board of Directors and as a Director of Agilent Technologies and Lyell Immunopharma. Hans holds a BA in chemistry from Brunel University in London.

GRAIL is focused on saving lives and improving health by pioneering new technologies for early cancer detection. The company is using the power of next-generation sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science to overcome one of medicine’s greatest challenges with its multi-cancer early detection blood test.

With this proprietary technology, GRAIL is also developing solutions to help accelerate cancer diagnoses, blood-based detection for minimal residual disease, and other post-diagnostic applications.

GRAIL is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with locations in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and the United Kingdom. It is supported by leading global investors and pharmaceutical, technology, and healthcare companies.

Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD

April 06, 2021
Businesses called to support public health for employees and beyond
Gold Standard

Businesses that promote employee health, like the more than 200 CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ accredited employers, are being urged to support public health beyond their own employees by a new report prepared by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS).

Recommendations from the report, Seven Ways Businesses Can Align with Public Health for Bold Action and Innovation, offer strategies to end and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure America is better prepared to address future public health crises.

“A large-scale effort to address our public health vulnerabilities will require business and public health leaders, as well as policymakers, to join forces in support of healthier employees and communities—the key to a more resilient workforce and a strong economy,” said Ron Goetzel, PhD, Director of IHPS and a member of the Gold Standard Steering Committee.

These are the seven recommendations in the report funded by the de Beaumont Foundation for business leaders. They are:

  • “Put out the fire” of COVID-19 by following advice of credible public health experts.
  • Improve the health and well-being of employees.
  • Promote healthy communities.
  • Become a “force Multiplier” by leveraging expertise, staff, and other resources to collaborate with local and state public health departments to be better prepared for future public health emergencies.
  • Actively facilitate public-private partnerships in the community.
  • Advocate for development of accountability dashboards that track and monitor progress toward achieving key economic and public health outcomes in a community.
  • Advocate for rebuilding and expanding a national public health workforce supported by a modern information technology infrastructure.

Brian Alexander, MD, MPH

April 06, 2021
Alexander named CEO at Foundation Medicine
CEO Roundtable on Cancer

Brian Alexander, M.D., M.P.H., succeeds Cindy Perettie as chief executive officer of Foundation Medicine, Inc., a member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and a Gold Standard accredited employer.

Previously Dr. Alexander was Foundation Medicine’s chief medical officer since 2019. He brings years of experience as a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School.

As of April 6, Cindy Perettie has taken on a new role within Roche Diagnostics.

Dr. Alexander has directed Foundation Medicine’s decision insights strategy to help more oncologists, both in community and academic settings, determine the right treatment, at the right time, for each unique patient. He also served as a White House fellow and Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, where he helped prepare the VA for the transition of administrations, worked to develop a public reporting system for quality, and served as a health policy advisor to the Secretary.

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.


April 06, 2021
Data Sharing Platform Gets Major Updates
Project Data Sphere

Project Data Sphere kicked off 2021 with exciting news: We have completely revamped our Data Sharing Platform. It’s the largest update and enhancement since PDS originally launched more than 6 years ago. 

What does this mean for you? 

  • It’s easier to find data and gain perspective around what is included within each study or contribution. 
  • Along with improved navigation, we have integrated content from so you have visibility to additional metadata.  
  • If you are interested in finding any data curations or what we consider linked-data, such as the AHRQs Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data, it’s incredibly easy to find through new filter options. 
  • You will also notice that the process for contributing data is greatly improved. 

Thanks go to our active user community (now over 3,000 registered) for making this platform what it is today. We are listening and striving to maximize data reuse, advance oncology research, and serve our patient population. 

Feedback has been gratifying. A user from the University of North Carolina with a newly accepted publication said, “Thank you for building this amazing platform so we could use the data to tackle real problems.”

The trust and engagement by data-sharing partners remain a critical piece of the platform. A big shoutout to Merck KGaA (EMD Serono), Eli Lilly, and G1 Therapeutics for their recent contributions across Glioblastoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. 

Every data contribution counts, and Project Data Sphere is committed to advocating on behalf of all patients participating in clinical trials by driving greater reuse of their individual data.  Our laser focus for 2021 is ‘Data Reuse’ through stronger positioning of our sharing platform and analytics space, active research programs, and by establishing key partnerships to drive progress. 

We have been working hard to plan an upcoming virtual symposium on this topic so mark your calendar for September 23 and join to hear how effective reuse of clinical trial data can lead to faster approvals and gain insights around how you can contribute to this critical ecosystem.

SAS Global Forum 2021

SAS Global Forum, May 18-20 2021

April 06, 2021
SAS Invites Registration for Global Forum 2021
Project Data Sphere

Registration is open and free for the annual SAS Global Forum, May 18-20, which brings together the brightest minds in analytics. The analytics community comes together to exchange ideas in a one-of-a-kind conference – where learning, training, networking and inspiring sessions converge.

The Global Forum 2021 is complimentary to all attendees. Each participant in the virtual event will have access to general sessions, breakout sessions, the exhibit hall, training sessions and networking opportunities all at no cost.

Speakers include SAS executives Jim Goodnight, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer as well as one of the Project Data Sphere™ Directors. Other speakers have ties to the Ted Podcast Worklife and NASA, consult on artificial intelligence and are well known entertainers. 

There will be more than 150 sessions, real-world stories from frontline leaders, meetings with technology and industry experts, live demos in the Innovation Hub, and access to world-class training at no cost.

Registration is online:

SAS is a member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and a longtime Gold Standard accredited employer.

April 06, 2021
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer Annual Report
CEO Roundtable on Cancer

Did you know that the CEO Roundtable on Cancer now reaches 36 states with a member company or Gold Standard™ accredited company?

That’s one of the updates in our Annual Report that went out by email at the end of January / first of February. It also recounts accomplishments of 2020 and highlights priorities for 2021 and beyond.  

If you missed the Annual Report, you can find it here on our website.  


December 15, 2020
PDS-RTI Work Supporting Health Disparity Research is Focus of Manuscript
Project Data Sphere

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.

Robert Ingram, Founding Chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer

October 28, 2020
President’s Cancer Panel looks at equity in screening
CEO Roundtable on Cancer

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.

October 23, 2020
Sanders Award goes to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Life Sciences Consortium

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. 

October 16, 2020
High Point University Recognized as Gold Standard Employer
Gold Standard

High Point University has earned CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM accreditation by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer for its commitment to the health of its employees.

"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.”

October 16, 2020
Memorial Hermann Health System Earns CEO Cancer Gold Standard Accreditation
Gold Standard

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer has accredited Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas with the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM recognizing its efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for its employees and covered family members.

October 07, 2020
FDA-PDS Symposium Considers Rare Cancer Registries
Project Data Sphere

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.