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ASCO’s CancerLinQ Rapid Learning Initiative

CancerLinQ is a multiphase initiative that aims to change the way cancer is understood and treated. The goals of this “rapid learning system” are to apply technological advances to connect oncology practices, measure quality and performance, and provide oncologists with decision support in real time. ASCO’s vision for CancerLinQ is to curate and analyze this information in a central knowledge base, which will learn over time. Specifically, the system will

  • upload clinical data stored in electronic medical records (EMRs) from patients in multiple practices;
  • aggregate information from EMRs, new clinical trials, and published guidelines;
  • identify trends and associations among myriad variables in order to generate new hypotheses;
  • enable physicians and researchers to evaluate those hypotheses and determine which ones may lead to improved care in real-world settings; and
  • enable clinicians and researchers to quickly apply those conclusions, forming a continuous cycle of learning.

In practice, once the full technology platform is completed, CancerLinQ aims to

  • improve personalized treatment decisions by cancer care teams by capturing patient information in real time at the point of care; providing real-time decision support tailored to each patient and his or her cancer; and automatically reporting on the quality of care compared with clinical guidelines and the outcomes of other patients;
  • educate and empower patients by linking them to their cancer care teams and providing personalized treatment information at their fingertips; and
  • create a powerful new data source for use in real-world quality and comparative effectiveness studies, and to generate new ideas for clinical research.

SOURCE: ASCO, 2012a.

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