Shannon Lynch Receives Real-World Data Impact Award from the American Cancer Society and Flatiron Health

Shannon Lynch, PhD, MPH, co-author of the study and an assistant professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program
Shannon Lynch, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program

PHILADELPHIA (March 2, 2022)—Shannon Lynch, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has received the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Flatiron Health’s 2021 Real-World Data Impact Award. 

The $75,000 grant provides funding and data for Lynch to research health disparities among patients with pancreatic cancer. Specifically, Lynch will study patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, investigating possible differences in time to first treatment; number of lines of chemotherapy; first- and second-line therapy regimens; and hospice use by race/ethnicity and insurance status.

“The burden of pancreatic cancer is increasing. By 2030, pancreatic cancer is projected to be the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Most pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease, and pancreatic cancer survival rates remain lower than we would want. What’s particularly concerning is that there appears to be survival differences in pancreatic cancer by race,” said Lynch.

“Few studies have investigated whether differences in treatment or time to first treatment could be contributing to racial differences in survival,” she added. “Our study begins to address this gap by proposing to conduct one of the largest studies to date of treatment-related disparities in a patient population with metastatic pancreatic cancer using Flatiron’s large, real-world data set.”

For this grant, Lynch will have access to a Flatiron de-identified data set derived from the health records of patients with cancer treated in both community clinics and academic medical centers specific to her research question. She will also have access to clinical and methodologic experts at Flatiron and the ACS. 

Lynch said that as part of the investigation, she will conduct an analysis to estimate the proportion of disparities in survival that could be eliminated if treatment delays did not occur. She believes this proposal is particularly important, not only because it will provide insights into treatment-related disparities, but also because the identification of risk factors and treatment patterns that impact patient survival could help mitigate health disparities in care for metastatic pancreatic cancer patients more rapidly. 

This marked the third year of the joint grant-making program between ACS and Flatiron Health. The program allows for ACS-funded researchers to have the opportunity to apply for additional funding and access to Flatiron real-world data.

Flatiron Health is a health technology company dedicated to helping cancer centers thrive and deliver better care for patients. Flatiron uses clinical and data science to translate patient experiences into real-world evidence to improve treatment, inform policy, and advance research. Flatiron Health is an independent affiliate of the Roche Group; Flatiron Health K.K. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Flatiron Health.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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