(July 9, 2015)
– Amid growing recognition of the role of “big data” and data sharing in advancing cancer research, the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) has announced three new members, bringing the total to nine. The unique research partnership among North America’s top cancer centers and anchored by Moffitt Cancer Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute has added Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Launched in May 2014, ORIEN enhances precision cancer medicine efforts already in place at member organizations by enabling unprecedented research opportunities driving greater collaboration. All ORIEN members use a single protocol, Total Cancer Care® (TCC). To date, more than 124,000 TCC-consented patients have agreed to donate their tissue and clinical data for research to understand cancer at the molecular level. ORIEN members share de-identified data to accelerate the development of precision medicine and treatments, which enables researchers and clinicians to more quickly match eligible patients to clinical trials and conduct larger and more comprehensive analyses.
“It is increasingly apparent that molecular profiling of tumors will shrink the number of patients eligible for a clinical trial of an agent that targets a specific mutation. Bringing on more partners in ORIEN accelerates our ability to conduct such trials,” said Thomas Sellers, PhD, MPH, center director and executive vice president of Moffitt. “The addition of new centers to ORIEN and their cancer patients to the TCC registry further empowers ORIEN to speed clinical research and provide more than 60,000 cancer patients access to trials that target their specific cancers.”
Through federal initiatives aimed at infusing funds into the growing field of precision medicine, ORIEN is growing at a time when the national spotlight is turned to the field’s potential and promise to discover targeted treatments. ORIEN leaders stress that this recognition illustrates the need for continued collaboration among oncology experts to identify cutting-edge treatments for patients and to improve care.
“ORIEN, in collaboration with leading cancer centers throughout the country, provides cancer patients with greater access to clinical trials specific to their cancer type. This collaboration and cooperation among a growing number of ORIEN centers means patients may not need to travel far from home to participate,” said Michael Caligiuri, MD, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “The ORIEN network of cancer centers is made up of true partners in data exchange and we are proud to extend these benefits to patients in the form of genomic data research that will help us better understand cancer at the molecular level and hopefully develop more targeted cancer treatments.”
Additional ORIEN members include City of Hope, University of Virginia Cancer Center, University of Colorado Cancer Center and University of New Mexico Cancer Center. ORIEN operations, through M2Gen, support collaborative research by managing funding, access to data, trial matching governance, and client relationships.
“Becoming part of ORIEN adds great opportunities for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, enabling discovery based on large-scale, diverse population data as well as patient-specific clinical decision support across a broad, national clinical trial portfolio,” said Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Director Robert S. DiPaola, MD.
“Morehouse School of Medicine is honored to partner and collaborate with such distinguished institutions and to work towards developing a better treatment model for cancer patients,” said James W. Lillard, PhD, MBA, associate dean for research and professor of microbiology, biochemistry, and immunology. “The cancer care and research community at MSM has seen significant growth over the past five years—doubling the number of oncologists and quadrupling the amount of translational research funding. Partnering with ORIEN has tremendous potential to propel cancer research forward and reduce cancer health disparities.”
“It was a natural fit for USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center to join ORIEN, as personalized patient care has been a key component of our strategic plan,” said USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Stephen B. Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH. “We are proud to partner with ORIEN founders and members to collaborate to change the treatment model for oncology.”
“We are thrilled to have these leading cancer institutions as part of ORIEN. Together we are building one of the largest and most diverse data warehouse efforts that will allow us to follow and learn from patients to better understand their needs and develop evidence-based approaches to meet those needs,” said William S. Dalton, PhD, MD, CEO of M2Gen.