Gant Family Precision Cancer
Medicine Consortium

New Penn Precision Cancer Medicine Group Convenes in Philadelphia

New Penn Precision Cancer Medicine Group Convenes in Philadelphia

Two Dozen Top Experts Focus on the Economics of a Burgeoning Field
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Justin Bekelman, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and Co-Chair of the Gant Family Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium, opens the first in-person meeting of the Consortium's members. "Precision medicine" generally refers to the use of genetic and other methodologies to identify and target the specific characteristics of an individual patient's tumor. Funded by the family of Wharton School alumnus Donald R. Gant, the Penn-based health services research project brings together some of the country's top experts to study the economics of the emerging field. "We are at a point now in precision cancer medicine where international scientific meetings are packed with promising studies," said Bekelman, an LDI Senior Fellow. "For patients, researchers, and clinicians, the enthusiasm is palpable. But as we walk the hallways of these meetings, everyone is asking in whispered tones, 'How will all this be paid for?' It was time to take on that challenge."
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The Consortium meeting convened in The Colloquium conference center on the eighth floor of the Wharton School's Huntsman Hall at the University of Pennsylvania. The opening presenter (above, left) was Richard Schilsky, MD, Fellow and Chief Medical Officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Above, right, discussing the issues were Katherine Nathanson, MD, Professor and Chief Oncogenomics Physician at the Abramson Cancer Center; Peter Adamson, MD, Chair of the Children's Oncology Group at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, Director of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law at Harvard Medical School; David Roth, MD, PhD, Professor and Director of the Penn Center for Precision Medicine; and Shannon Fernandez-Ledon, Research Fellow at the Abramson Cancer Center.
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Consortium Co-Chair and LDI Senior Fellow Steven Joffe, MD, MPH (above, left), said, “The challenges and tradeoffs that precision cancer drugs present are real. We want to take full advantage of the rapid advances in our scientific understanding of cancer, but at the same time we want to be able to afford these drugs as individuals, families and society. The Consortium confronted these dilemmas honestly. Through its deliberations and recommendations, the Consortium aims to identify strategies that will overcome these vexing questions." Above, right, listening intently are (l to r) Sarah Gant; Daniel Polsky, Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI); Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, Director of the Abramson Cancer Center; and Michael Aberman, MD, Senior Vice President of Regeneron.
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Speaking from the podium (above, left) is ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard Schilsky. Above right is law professor Abbe Gluck, JD, Faculty Director at the Yale Law School Solomon Center for Health and Policy. The Consortium's members include representatives of patient advocacy, policy, insurance, biomedical research, law, and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
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Providing a payer perspective (above, left) is Craig Samitt, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Anthem, the country's second largest health insurer. Above, right, is Gail Wilensky, PhD, a Senior Fellow at Project HOPE and both a former Director of the Medicare and Medicaid programs under the first President Bush, and White House health care advisor.
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Making a point (above, left) is CHOP's Peter Adamson. Above, right, Erin Aakhus, MD, a Medical Oncology Instructor at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and LDI Senior Fellow, comments to patient advocate and filmaker Mary Jackson Scroggins, MA, a founding partner of Pinkie Hugs, LLC.
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FRONT ROW (Left to right): Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, Professor and Director of the Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM); Craig Samitt, MD, Executive Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer, Anthem; Justin Bekelman, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, PSOM; Donald R. Gant; Sarah Gant, Program Manager, Outward Bound Professional; Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, PSOM; Janet Weiner, PhD, MPH, Associate Director of Health Policy, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI); Erin Aakhus, MD, Instructor, Medical Oncology, PSOM; Gail Wilensky, PhD, Senior Fellow at Project HOPE. BACK ROW (Left to right): Shannon Fernandez-Ledon, Research Fellow, Abramson Cancer Center; Aaron Glickman, Research Assistant, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, PSOM; Abbe Gluck, JD, Professor of Law and Solomon Center for Health and Policy Faculty Director, Yale Law School; Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, Associate Professor and Director, Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law, Harvard Medical School; Richard Schilsky, MD, Fellow and Chief Medical Officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology; David Roth, MD, PhD, Professor and Director, Penn Center for Precision Medicine, PSOM; Katherine Nathanson, MD, Professor and Chief Oncogenomics Physician, Abramson Cancer Center, PSOM; Mary Jackson Scroggins, MA, Founding Partner, Pinkie Hugs, LLC; Michael Aberman, MD, Senior Vice President, Regeneron; Peter Adamson, MD, Professor and Chair, Children's Oncology Group, CHOP and PSOM; Daniel Polsky, PhD, Professor of both Health Care Management at Wharton and Medicine at PSOM, and Executive Director, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI); Steven Pearson, MD, MSc, President of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review; Angela Golub, Associate Director, Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium, and Coordinator, Penn Fellowship in Advanced Biomedical Ethics (PSOM). MEMBERS NOT SHOWN: James Doroshow, MD, National Cancer Center Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis; Chyke Doubeni, MD, FRCS, MPH, Chair and Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and member of the Abramson Cancer Center; Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, Penn Vice Provost and Chair, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, PSOM; Mark Pauly, PhD, Professor of both Health Care Management at Wharton and Medical Ethics and Health Policy at PSOM; Lawrence Shulman, MD, Deputy Director for Clinical Services at the Abramson Cancer Center and Director of the Center for Global Cancer Medicine.
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