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3/30/2011
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Oracle, Moffitt Collaborate On Cancer Informatics System

Moffitt Cancer Center is using Oracle technology to build a scalable, secure data analysis platform to support personalized cancer care and research.

Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety
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Slideshow: Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety
As part of an ongoing effort to provide cancer patients with more personalized care, Moffitt Cancer Center and Oracle are collaborating on a new health and research informatics system.

The scalable, secure system, built with Oracle Health Science technology, will support Moffitt's Total Cancer Care program, which is a comprehensive approach to providing individualized, evidence-based care to cancer patients.

That involves Moffitt -- with patients' consent -- aggregating and analyzing data related to diagnoses, treatments, follow-up care, and bio-specimens, and from other clinical sources, for thousands of individuals cared for at 18 cancer treatment hospitals in the United States that participate in the Total Cancer Care program.

Among the Oracle products and technologies that are being used by Moffitt for its "next-generation health and research informatics system" are Oracle Health Sciences Enterprise Healthcare Analytics suite, Oracle Healthcare Master Person Index, Oracle Fusion Middleware components, and Oracle Database 11g, said Kris Joshi, Oracle VP of healthcare product strategy.

Oracle and Moffitt are working on adding new information sources to the Oracle Healthcare Data Warehouse Foundation data model, including DNA sequencing data related to patient tissue, including malignant tumors.

This system will also support the analysis of DNA sequencing data along with multiple other sources of other patient information, including e-health records, in the hopes of gaining more rapid insights about the effectiveness of treatments, said Joshi in an interview.

For instance, the analysis could bring new findings about the effectiveness of specific cancer treatments on patients with common biomarkers and other similarities, enabling researchers and clinicians to more quickly advance personalized treatments for other individuals. The work underway at Moffitt "provides a glimpse of the future for integrated cancer care" and the treatment of other diseases, as well, said Joshi.

Moffitt is also using the Oracle Healthcare Data Warehouse Foundation model to normalize and aggregate information so that data quality is optimal for analysis. "You want to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges," when doing analysis of patient data, Joshi said.

For instance, if two different labs conducting the same test express results in different values, such a milligrams versus micrograms, the data needs to be standardized so that statistical calculations are accurate upon analysis. "A doctor could look at both test results and understand they're the same, but once those different values are in aggregate, it's hard to fix," he said. Oracle's platform transforms and normalizes data so that analysis is accurate, he said.

Moffitt, based in Tampa, Fla., is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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