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Researchers Receive American Cancer Society Flatiron Health Real-World Data Impact Awards
Jul 1, 2020
Grants will fund the study of quality and equity in cancer care and outcomes
Particularly in the current environment, the ACS is grateful for the potential of these grants to use real-world data to help expand the scope of questions our researchers are able to answer

Three American Cancer Society researchers will receive the Real-World Data Impact Award to advance patient-centric research, the ACS and Flatiron Health announced today. The researchers, already funded by the ACS, will receive additional funding as well as access to Flatiron’s national de-identified oncology datasets curated from electronic health records for research purposes. The joint grant-making program supports both organizations’ goals of accelerating cancer research and improving treatment and outcomes for patients.

Using Flatiron Health’s de-identified real-world datasets, the researchers will study immunotherapy effectiveness in frail patients with non-small cell lung cancer; equitable access to genomic testing and personalized treatments in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer; and racial disparities in the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer.

The recipients of the 2020 awards are:

  • Minal Kale, MD, is an assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Kale will conduct a comparative effectiveness study of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in individuals with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and poor performance status using the Flatiron Health de-identified real-world database. Dr. Kale will study a longitudinal, demographically and geographically diverse sample of individuals with advanced NSCLC to learn more about the benefits of immunotherapy in individuals with poor performance status. These findings will provide key insights into the treatment of patients that are typically excluded from clinical trials.
  • Siran M. Koroukian-Hajinazarian, PhD, is an associate professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Koroukian-Hajinazarian will conduct a retrospective cohort study using clinical and genomic data gathered from the Flatiron Health de-identified real-world database to evaluate patterns of genomic testing and targeted therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer to assess the impact of patient and practice characteristics on receipt of these services. These findings will help identify new opportunities to improve the quality and equity of cancer care in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
  • Ying Liu, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Liu will conduct a retrospective cohort study using the Flatiron Health de-identified real-world database to examine the differences between African American and European American patients with metastatic breast cancer in treatment patterns and adherence to therapy. Dr. Liu will also assess the roles of sociodemographic and clinical factors in observed differences in treatment patterns, as well as disease progression and patient survival. These findings will enhance our understanding of underlying reasons for previously reported racial disparities in patients with metastatic breast cancer.

“Particularly in the current environment, the ACS is grateful for the potential of these grants to use real-world data to help expand the scope of questions our researchers are able to answer,” said William Phelps, PhD, senior vice president for Extramural Research. “We look forward to seeing how Flatiron’s additional funding and access to these data may help these investigators in their quest to improve patient outcomes in cancer.”

“We are excited to support these research efforts that will apply cutting-edge analytic methods to answer questions relevant to health equity and populations commonly underrepresented in clinical trials,” said Neal J. Meropol, MD, vice president and head of Medical and Scientific Affairs at Flatiron Health.

ACS and Flatiron designed the program to advance patient-centric research among investigators currently funded by the ACS with experience in health services or outcomes research. ACS oversaw the selection process while Flatiron will provide additional funding as well as access to its de-identified real-world oncology datasets.

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to www.cancer.org.

Flatiron Health is a healthcare technology and services company focused on accelerating cancer research and improving patient care. Our platform enables cancer researchers and care providers to learn from the experience of every patient. Currently, Flatiron partners with over 280 community cancer practices, seven major academic research centers and over 15 of the top therapeutic oncology companies. For more information, please visit www.flatiron.com or follow us @FlatironHealth.