CancerLinQ™ Takes a Big Leap Forward

Feb 23, 2015

ASCO Teams with Multinational Software Corporation SAP to Develop CancerLinQ™

On January 21, ASCO announced that it will collaborate with leading technology company SAP to develop CancerLinQ™ (, the Society’s groundbreaking health information technology platform. CancerLinQ will harness “big data” from millions of de-identified patient records to deliver high-quality, personalized care to people with cancer and cancer survivors.

“In teaming with SAP, we found an ideal company with state-of-the-art technology, a commitment to invest major new resources, and a clear dedication to our patient care mission,” said 2014-2015 ASCO President Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO. “With our cancer expertise complemented by SAP’s software and technical insights, CancerLinQ is in a position to make a huge leap toward becoming the platform of choice for oncologists.”

What CancerLinQ means for ASCO members and oncology professionals

CancerLinQ is one of the only major cancer data initiatives being developed and led by physicians with the primary purpose of improving patient care. Because its members represent oncology care providers in every specialty and in every practice setting around the world, ASCO is in a unique position to cut across specific business or regional interests and develop an interoperable system with the potential to benefit every patient with cancer.

“CancerLinQ will help improve cancer care by delivering the latest information to doctors no matter where they practice so that patients can receive high-quality, state-of-the-art care regardless of where they live,” said ASCO Immediate Past President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP. “With CancerLinQ, we can also learn from the care given to the 97% of adult patients who do not currently participate in clinical trials.”

When complete, CancerLinQ is expected to unlock real-world patient care data from millions of electronic health records and more securely process and analyze the data to provide immediate high-quality feedback and clinical decision support to providers. Doctorsshould be able to receive personalized insights on a scope that was previously unattainable and to help patients gain benefits by having access to high-quality care based on the most up-to-date insights and findings.

“As a community oncologist, I’m proud to participate in CancerLinQ and excited about what it can do for our patients,” said Therese M. Mulvey, MD, FASCO, of Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care. One of the most exciting aspects of CancerLinQ, she said, is its ability to answer a question that she is frequently asked by her patients: “How do you know that this molecular signature is relevant to my cancer?” Using the system’s aggregated data, a physician will be able to determine with a greater degree of certainty if a molecular marker is significant to the patient’s cancer and indicates the use of a particular treatment strategy.

ASCO and SAP expect that CancerLinQ will enable oncologists to confidently answer many more of these common questions, including:

  • How have other patients like me fared on the different treatment regimens that are available for my cancer?

  • What treatment regimen is likely to be most effective for me as an individual?

  • What toxicities—both acute and late—am I likely to experience from this treatment?

CancerLinQ to leverage the powerof SAP HANA

CancerLinQ will be developed using SAP HANA®, a flexible, multipurpose in-memory data management and application platform. By providing advanced capabilities such as predictiv etext analytics, spatial processing, and data virtualization on the same architecture, it further simplifies application development and processing across big-data sources and structures. This makes SAP HANA a highly suitable platform for building and deploying next-generation, real-time applications and analytics.

SAP HANA has already been adopted by thousands of institutions, including global health and medical organizations. For example, SAP has teamed with the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Heidelberg, Germany, to use real-time data analytics to help accelerate cancer research and improve clinical trial matching; in Japan, SAP has teamed with Mitsui Knowledge Industry to reduce patient-specific genomic analysis for cancer diagnosis from 30 days to 20 minutes.

“We are excited to apply the power of SAP HANA to a physician-led health care initiative that is aimed at advancing patient care in unprecedented ways,” said David P. Delaney, MD, SAP’s Chief Medical Officer, Americas. “We believe that the CancerLinQ platform represents a huge leap forward in the ability to create insight from massive amounts of data which are not fully leveraged today. This is made possible by combining ASCO’s oncology expertise and proven commitment to patients with the ability of SAP HANA to analyze big data in real-time. I believe that CancerLinQ is positioned to turbocharge the fight against cancer.”

First version of CancerLinQ scheduled for release in 2015

ASCO and SAP plan to deliver the first version of CancerLinQ in late 2015 with patient records from 15 vanguard oncology practices. Eight practices have signed on to this effort and seven more large cancer centers will soon join, meaning approximately 500,000 patients will be represented in the first version of CancerLinQ. Insights gathered from the data are expected to help lay the groundwork for developing the full system, in which oncology practices across the U.S. can participate. CancerLinQ’s vanguard practices include:

  • Inova Comprehensive Cancer & Research Institute

  • Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care

  • New England Cancer Specialists

  • Medical Oncology Hematology Consultants, PA

  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America

  • Marin Cancer Care

  • Space Coast Cancer Center

  • Michiana Hematology-Oncology, P.C.

ASCO will maintain control over the data, services, and products that stem from the platform, including clinical decision support tools and analyses. SAP will provide access to customized technologies based on SAP HANA, along with engineering and other technical support to help enrich CancerLinQ’s versatility for patients.

To learn more about CancerLinQ, please visit

CancerLinQ is supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO and is a project of CancerLinQ, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASCO.


Back to Top