University of North Carolina and SAS fight cancer together
UNC Lineberger and SAS developing technology that tracks patient characteristics, treatment and outcomes
CARY, NC (10. Nov. 2011) – Doctors at cancer hospitals traditionally rely on published treatment guidelines, journal articles and personal experience to tailor therapies for each patient. But at the University of North Carolina's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, doctors soon will draw from a far deeper pool of treatment data, through a strategic technology development arrangement forged with SAS, the leader in health analytics software and services.
"Cancer treatment often involves many steps; clinical trials test them one at a time. This partnership between UNC Health Care, the NC TraCS Institute, cancer center physicians and researchers, and SAS will harness all the data about a patient's risk factors as well as their cancer's characteristics and treatment to improve their outcomes," said Shelley Earp, MD, UNC Lineberger's Director.
UNC Lineberger and SAS are building on the capabilities of SAS® Health Outcomes Analysis, software currently in development. SAS Health Outcomes Analysis will extend a care provider's own experience and vision by providing information from a larger cohort of patients with similar treatment, health and demographic profiles. The software helps researchers and medical practitioners easily and dynamically apply advanced analytical techniques to observational patient data.
This major research partnership combines the power of a large, long-term study with biomarker analysis and novel software analytics to look for new, improved patterns of cancer care. The scale of the project will allow researchers and physicians to better understand how a cancer's genetic cause interacts with a patient's therapeutic combinations or sequences of therapies. Analysis will result in better patient outcomes and a roadmap to help patients graduate from active therapy and join the more than 12 million cancer survivors in the United States. The ultimate goal is to improve cancer outcomes in North Carolina and beyond.
"Improving cancer outcomes has been a SAS focus area for years, and UNC's Lineberger Center is a leader in fighting this disease," said Kecia Serwin, Vice President and General Manager of Health and Life Sciences at SAS. "Combining the power of SAS with Lineberger will help give both researchers and practitioners new insights in the fight against this daunting disease that touches the lives of so many patients."
Jason Burke, Managing Director of the SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights (CHAI), added that health analytics today enables organizations to do what was historically considered difficult or impossible. "At the individual patient level, physicians need the ability to predict treatment outcomes by discriminating across a diverse, ever-increasing number of patient health factors," he said. "Through health analytics, we can advance our understanding of disease progressions while improving individual patient outcomes."
SAS in Health Analytics
SAS is the industry leader in health analytics software and services, delivering best-in-class solutions for improving medical care, strengthening financial performance, deepening customer relationships, and pursuing medical innovations. All of the top 25 health plans and pharmaceutical companies depend on SAS for strategic insights into health outcomes, profitability, and customer preferences and behaviors that produce useful intelligence for business transformation and growth. Please visit SAS for Health Care Providers for more information.
About UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
As one of only 40 National Cancer Center Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, UNC Lineberger was rated as exceptional, the highest category by the National Cancer Institute. The Center brings together physicians and scientists from across the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.
With research that spans the spectrum from the laboratory to the bedside to the community, Center faculty work to understand the cause of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, to conduct groundbreaking laboratory research, and to translate findings into pioneering and innovative clinical trials.
The power of one of the nation's top public universities, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, means that the UNC Lineberger and UNC Cancer Center collaboration, creativity and innovation are the rule – not the exception.
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