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.


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