Applying Big Data to Address the Social Determinants of Health in Oncology: A Workshop

When: October 28, 2019 - October 29, 2019 (8:00 AM Eastern)
Where: National Academy of Sciences Building (Lecture Room) • 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418

Topics Biomedical and Health Research, Diseases, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Quality and Patient Safety
Activity: National Cancer Policy Forum
Board: Board on Health Care Services

The collection and analysis of big data is expected to transform the field of cancer research and improve cancer care. Innovations in analytic methods, coupled with large-scale efforts to collect big data, are advancing progress in precision medicine initiatives and facilitating research on factors that influence cancer incidence and outcomes.

However, not all individuals and communities may benefit equally from these advances: concerns remain about whether applications of big data research will reduce existing health disparities in oncology, or whether they might inadvertently exacerbate these disparities. Analyses of big data have the potential to elucidate ways in which the social determinants of health contribute to cancer incidence and outcomes, and may also identify promising avenues for intervention. At the same time, the underrepresentation of minority and vulnerable populations in big datasets may lead to biased conclusions that threaten equitable progress in cancer research and care.

The National Cancer Policy Forum will hold a workshop on October 28-29, 2019 to examine the social determinants of health in the context of cancer, and to consider opportunities to effectively leverage big data to improve health equity and reduce disparities. The workshop will feature invited presentations and discussion on topics such as:

• The impact of social determinants of health on cancer incidence and outcomes
• Ways to capture precise and meaningful data on social determinants of health in oncology
• Strategies for assessing exposure to environmental factors that may affect cancer incidence and outcomes
• Potential opportunities to reduce bias in capturing and applying big data in oncology
• Examples of how big data could be used to support health equity in oncology

Planning Committee Members
Robert A. Winn (chair), University of Illinois at Chicago
Garnet Anderson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington
Kenneth Anderson, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Karen Basen-Engquist, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Otis W. Brawley, Johns Hopkins University
Nicole F. Dowling, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Stanton Gerson, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Lori Hoffman Högg, Department of Veterans Affairs
Nicholas Horton, Amherst College
Ronald M. Kline, Office of Personnel Management
Rebecca Miksad, Flatiron Health
Timothy Rebbeck, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Victoria Seewaldt, City of Hope
George J. Weiner, University of Iowa
Robin Yabroff, American Cancer Society

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