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Ohio State and Moffitt form world's largest cancer research collaboration for big data

TAMPA, Fla., and COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 28, 2014) Two of North America's leading cancer centers, Moffitt Cancer Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James), today announced what is likely the largest collaboration of its kind to accelerate discoveries in cancer research.

Named the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), the new partnership will launch with over 100,000 consented patients who have agreed to donate their tissue and clinical data for research to understand cancer at the molecular level. ORIEN will utilize a single protocol, Total Cancer Care, to create a collaborative, "rapid learning" environment that will share de-identified data to accelerate the development of targeted treatments, allowing researchers and clinicians to more quickly match eligible patients to clinical trials and conduct larger and richer analysis.

National System Long Overdue

Leaders of each cancer center emphasized ORIEN's goal to develop more precise ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat cancers.

"Cancer is a highly complex disease, and potential breakthroughs have been stalled because we've lacked an efficient way to share incremental insights," said Alan F. List, M.D., president and CEO of Moffitt. "Even more frustrating, until today we've had no system to quickly match cancer patients from anywhere in the country with ongoing clinical research with the most potential to help them," he said. "By partnering with The Ohio State University through ORIEN, we've built a cancer research expressway."

"With ORIEN, we're amassing a true national cancer database for the first time," said Michael Caligiuri, M.D., director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital. "The collaboration across academic centers and with health care industry will not only help speed discovery, but will also provide patients with more personalized treatment options and ultimately, lead to better outcomes."

Through data analysis and sharing, ORIEN will provide physicians evidence of the best therapeutic options, including clinical trial treatments, specific to a patient's biological and epidemiological profile, increasing the likelihood of treatment efficacy, speeding response time, and potentially minimizing side effects while improving outcomes.

Patients are followed throughout their lifetime and can play an active role in the study of their cancer and improve care for future generations.

ORIEN builds upon the strengths of its founders' National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers: Moffitt's Total Cancer Care protocol, biorepository and data warehouse of patients' genotypic and phenotypic data, and OSUCCC-James's depth and breadth in translating molecular- and genetic-based discoveries into more effective ways to prevent, detect, treat and ultimately cure cancers. M2Gen, a subsidiary of Moffitt, will serve as ORIEN's operational and commercial provider for support, bringing expertise in data management and informatics.

The ORIEN collaborative will seek partnerships with other leading cancer centers in North America. More information may be found at

Clinical Trial Matching

ORIEN's approach to clinical trial matching also presents a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to modernize trial recruitment and facilitate adaptive clinical trial design. Through M2Gen, industry researchers will be able to match their targeted drugs to participating patients within ORIEN cancer center members based on their molecular profile, promoting greater trial efficiency and flexibility. Ultimately, researchers will be better equipped to identify potential candidates for their drug trials, leading to better outcomes. ORIEN also creates the ability to accelerate and improve efficiencies of clinical trials and the drug approval process, including post-market surveillance.

"M2Gen will facilitate what we view as the ideal way to conduct cancer research and help patients an approach that promotes collaborative learning at all levels," said William S. Dalton, Ph.D., M.D., president and CEO of M2Gen. "The goal of our joint efforts with Moffitt and OSUCCC-James is to connect patients to the best treatment options, including clinical trials, by accelerating the discovery and delivery of personalized medicine."


Contact: Kim Polacek
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

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