Today in Washington, DC, the Personalized Medicine Coalition, American Association for Cancer Research, and Feinstein Kean Healthcare will convene Turning the Tide Against Cancer Through Sustained Medical Innovation, a national conference to consider the status and future of cancer innovation and personalized medicine.

While recent scientific advances have generated both excitement and challenges in preventing, detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer, there is increasing recognition that our national policies are far from optimal in this new era of rapidly advancing personalized oncology, according to the organization.



“We need to bridge the gap between the science and the patient by enacting public policies that are appropriately aligned to sustain progress in personalized medicine and improve cancer care,” said Edward Abrahams, PhD, president of the Personalized Medicine Coalition. “Smarter regulations to encourage targeted therapeutics, more appropriate payment policies, and a government-wide commitment to advancing personalized medicine are needed to translate our emerging understanding of the causes of cancer into treatments that improve outcomes as well as lower overall health care costs.”



The conference is designed to help policymakers understand the value of new cancer treatments and technologies and to identify opportunities to accelerate progress in cancer care through policy at a time when fiscal discipline and attempts to contain rising health care costs dominate policy conversations.



“Progress against cancer has reached a critical inflection point; where our ever increasing understanding of the molecular basis of disease, combined with our relentless effort to apply these insights into clinical care, is forming the foundation of personalized cancer care,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research. “However, policy changes are going to be required to accelerate this progress and improve patient care in an era of health care cost containment.”



Keynote speakers at the conference are Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer; John Mendelsohn, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Brookings Institution. Distinguished panelists will address innovative models for cancer research and care, the need to define value in cancer innovation, and policies to sustain progress and turn the tide against cancer, the group says.


In preparation for the conference, Feinstein Kean Healthcare developed and produced a discussion paper, “Sustaining Progress Against Cancer in an Era of Cost Containment,” based on interviews with more than 30 experts and thought leaders in the cancer community.


“There is overwhelming agreement in the cancer community that we are at a special juncture with huge opportunity to make progress in our fight against cancer. Whether we seize that opportunity is up to us,” said Marcia A. Kean, MBA, chairman of Feinstein Kean Healthcare and editor of the discussion paper. “Moving forward, all of us who are used to existing in separate silos must now work differently in a coordinated, systematic, and transparent way to ‘turn the tide against cancer,’ or risk drowning in the clinical and economic burdens of the disease.”


Portions of the conference will be streamed live at Participants are encouraged to add to the conversation on Twitter using the conference hashtag #TurnTheTide.



[Source: Personalized Medicine Coalition]