April 27, 2017
Jen Marie Robustelli

What Netflix Can Teach Us About Cancer | Oncology Download April 25, 2017

What Netflix Can Teach Us About Treating Cancer
Using Tumor Size to Predict Immune Response
March for Science
MACRA Madness

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Every Tuesday morning, we send the Oncology Download out to thousands of oncology professionals. The newsletter is designed to be skimmable for the busy professional—our team curates 3-5 top stories from policy, research, industry, and mainstream media sources, and summarize these stories with takeaways geared toward cancer professionals dedicated to using data and technology to improve the lives of cancer patients. 

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What Netflix can teach us about treating cancer

We have more access than ever to information about the human genome. Why haven't reached the point of precision medicine for cancer yet?

Could physicians personalize cancer therapies the same way Netflix personalizes your movie recommendations with a matrix factorization algorithm? Just as tools from computer science can be adapted to both movie recommendations and cancer, the future generation of computational scientists will adopt prediction tools from an array of fields for precision medicine. 

March for Science: Rallies from Washington DC to Berlin

Across 600 cities worldwide, thousands of scientists took to the streets on Saturday along with students and research advocates in this past weekend's March for Science.

And it wasn't just the science community who marched: "I think it's been made clear by the government that they want to make a lot of cutting of science funding. Cancer research saved my life five years ago," said Pam Haddad, a social worker from Pennsylvania. "It's important to show solidarity. If one person shows up, no one pays attention. But if we all come, they can't ignore us."

Using tumor size to predict a response to cancer drugs

A new study confirms that tumor size changes the body's immune response—smaller tumors mean less immune change is needed to make a clinical difference.

Researchers have found a new way to predict which patients will have an immune response to treatment, however small, and hope it’ll give clinicians a way to strike while the iron is hot with combination therapies that might improve outcomes. Stat got a few questions in with microbiologist John Wherry of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the authors of the recently published abstract.

Quick take: Fear of the unknown (reimbursement model)

Sometimes we make things too complicated. Physicians just want to be paid well for the work they do.

In a recent survey...

  • Nearly 8 in 10 physicians surveyed prefer fee-for-service for their compensation.
  • 71% of physicians surveyed would participate in value-based payment models if offered financial incentives to do so.
  • Performance bonuses were less than or equal to 10% of total compensation for more than half of survey respondents. 

What does it all mean? We have a long way to go in the move to value-based care. Check out more at the always insightful MACRA Monday feature.

Next Article:
How 4 Systems Cut Costs with Tech | Oncology Download April 11, 2017
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