ASCO Secures Major Funding and Data License Agreements for CancerLinQ™, a “Rapid Learning” System to Transform Cancer Care and Speed the Search for Cures

November 30, 2012

Aaron Tallent

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Society of Clinical Oncology today announced that it has secured $3 million in new funding and key data sharing arrangements to support the development of CancerLinQ™, a ground-breaking information technology initiative that aims to achieve higher quality, higher value cancer care with better outcomes for patients.

Through CancerLinQ, ASCO is working to build a knowledge-generating computer network that will collect and analyze cancer care data from every possible source – including millions of patient records, clinical trials, cancer data that includes biomarkers or genetic information, and clinical practice guidelines – and use it to provide real-time, personalized guidance and quality feedback to physicians. The new funding and data license agreements will enable the society to move ahead aggressively with CancerLinQ’s development over the coming months.

“CancerLinQ has the potential to transform the care of all patients with cancer by giving us the ability to learn from every single patient's experience and provide the highest quality of care based on the best evidence," said Dr. Sandra M. Swain, President of ASCO. "Today, only the 3 percent of adult patients who enroll in clinical trials are able to contribute to our knowledge of cancer treatment. With CancerLinQ, every patient will be a cancer knowledge donor.”

ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation has received generous commitments from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Helsinn Group and Genentech. The Komen gift will support the completion and evaluation of a breast cancer-specific prototype of the CancerLinQ system by early 2013, while the other two gifts will enable ASCO to begin developing the full system based on lessons learned from the prototype. The new commitments are in addition to roughly $1 million in donor funding already received, as well as ASCO’s own significant investment in the initiative.

“Every patient with cancer deserves the best possible care,” said Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “We’re proud to support an effort that has clear potential to transform cancer care for millions of patients in the U.S. and worldwide.”

“Helsinn is pleased to make a long-term commitment in support of CancerLinQ,” said Dr. Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group CEO. “Helsinn is committed to help advance quality patient care through the development and commercialization of cancer supportive care treatments to benefit both patients and caregivers.”

ASCO has also completed agreements with leading cancer care and cancer information institutions around the U.S. to provide anonymous case data on approximately 100,000 patients for inclusion in the CancerLinQ prototype – far more than the target of 30,000 that ASCO had set for this initial stage of development. This comprehensive set of de-identified clinical information on individuals with breast cancer has enabled ASCO to quickly begin assessing the prototype with a robust, real-world dataset.

Organizations providing breast cancer data for the CancerLinQ prototype include four large cancer centers (Maine Center for Cancer Medicine, Marin Specialty Care and Marin General Hospital (California) Space Coast Cancer Center (Florida) and Tennessee Oncology), as well as IntrinsiQ, LLC, a leading source of U.S.-based oncology data and analysis.

“ASCO’s vision for CancerLinQ is ambitious, and we won’t be able to accomplish it alone,” said Dr. Allen S. Lichter, ASCO’s Chief Executive Officer. “Ultimately the transformation of cancer care will require a commitment from the entire oncology community, and from regulators, policymakers, payers and donors. We’re encouraged by the spirit of collaboration we’re seeing so far, and hope to collaborate with many of these groups as we work to accelerate learning and advance the care of cancer patients.”

CancerLinQ™ is supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. CancerLinQ is a project of CancerLinQ, LLC. For more information, please visit:


About ASCO
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at

About the Conquer Cancer Foundation
The Conquer Cancer Foundation is working to create a world free from the fear of cancer by funding breakthrough research, by sharing knowledge with physicians and patients worldwide, and by supporting initiatives to ensure that all people have access to high-quality cancer care. Working in close collaboration with a global network of top scientists and clinicians, as well as leading advocacy and research organizations, the Foundation draws on the passion and expertise of the more than 30,000 oncology professionals who are members of its affiliate organization, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). For more information, visit