Taren Grom, Editor
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Cancer — Impacts Us All
In 2014, there were an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the United States alone. Cancer remains the second-most common cause of death in the United States, accounting for almost one of every four deaths.
While usually lumped under the umbrella of oncology, there are actually more than 200 different types of cancer that can affect the more than 60 different organs in the human body. There are very few us who are lucky to not have had cancer impact someone we know or someone we love.
The vastness of this disease and the personal impact that cancer has had on several of us in the PharmaVOICE family prompted us to take a hard look at this complex disease state.
This month’s Forum — Detangling Oncology — launches a year-long series dedicated to examining various aspects of the disease along the continuum — from research to oncologists to payers.
From a research perspective, there are exciting developments afoot. At the Forbes Healthcare Summit held in November 2014 in New York, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman and CEO of NantHealth, unveiled his unconventional method of fighting cancer that he hopes will make it a chronic, treatable disease instead of a death sentence.
The surgeon, entrepreneur, and billionaire’s story was also broadcast as a 60 Minutes story on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 (http://vimeo.com/113893149)
As reported in the story, Dr. Soon-Shiong has built an infrastructure to enable his researchers to map the entire genome of individual tumors, a process that once could have taken months but with new supercomputers can be done in a day. The idea is to learn as much about a tumor’s mutations so the bad mutations can be identified. It’s thought that by classifying the cancer by its mutations, each bad mutation can be seen as a separate disease to treat individually with specifically designed drugs.
“Imagine reclassifying cancer…and understand that cancer is a slew of rare diseases,” Dr. Soon-Shiong says. “It’s going to mean you have a better shot at having a better outcome and having a quality of life and actually turn the cancer, hopefully, into a chronic disease.”
Furthermore, BlackBerry and NantHealth launched a secure cancer genome browser, which gives doctors the ability to access patients’ genetic data on the BlackBerry Passport smartphone. The cancer genome browser on the BlackBerry Passport enables deep, interactive reporting on genomics data for physicians. It gives oncologists a tool to view individual genetic alterations in a disease and allows them to highlight relevant treatment options.
As we look toward covering these and other exciting advancements, we want to also draw your attention to World Cancer Day, Feb. 4, 2015, which unites the world in the fight against cancer. Please visit worldcancerday.org/ to learn about events that are happening in your area of the world.
Consumer and personal health data will play a larger role in clinical research in the future.
Despite increasing physician preferences gearing toward multi digital channels, the professional sales representative is and always will be a crucial player in the marketing mix.
Strong government support and a proven R&D and regulatory environment have attracted many pharmaceutical companies to South Korea.
Coming in February 2015
- Re-Imagining The Life-Sciences Industry
- Best Practices for Marketing in a Digital World
- The Gen Y Phenomenon
- Oncology: Research Trends
- C-Suite: Clinical Biotechnology
- Market Focus: Ireland
- Showcase: Outsourcing
Volume 15 • Number 1
Publisher Lisa Banket
Editor Taren Grom
Creative Director Marah Walsh
Director of Sales
National Account Manager
Webcast Network Producer
by PharmaLinx LLC, Titusville, NJ
Printed in the U.S.A.
Volume Fifteen, Number One
PharmaVOICE (ISSN: 1932961X) is published monthly except joint issues in July/Aug. and Nov./Dec., by PharmaLinx LLC, P.O.?Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Periodicals postage paid at Titusville, NJ 08560 and additional mailing offices.
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