Personalized Medicine and Genomics

An emerging model of health care delivery that uses genetic information to customize a patient’s treatment.

Views From Patients With Cancer In The Setting Of Unplanned Acute Care: Informing Approaches To Reduce Health Care Utilization

Jun. 23, 2020

Tara L. Kaufmann, Katharine A. Rendle, Erin Aakhus, Vivek Nimgaonkar, Arnav Shah, Andrea Bilger, Peter E. Gabriel, Rebecca Trotta, Jennifer Braun, Lawrence N. Shulman, Justin E. Bekelman, Frances K. Barg

Abstract [from journal]

Purpose: New oncology care delivery models that avoid preventable acute care are needed, yet it is unclear which interventions best meet the needs of patients and caregivers. Perspectives from patients who experienced unplanned acute care events may inform the successful development and implementation of care delivery models.

Methods: We performed a qualitative interview study of patients with solid tumors on active treatment who experienced the following 3 types of unplanned acute care events


Text Messaging And Lottery Incentive To Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening Outreach At A Community Health Center: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Shivan J. Mehta, MD, MBA
May. 8, 2020

Shivan J. Mehta, Akinbowale Oyalowo, Catherine Reitz, Owen Dean, Timothy McAuliffe, David A. Asch, Chyke A. Doubeni

Abstract [from journal]

Efforts to boost colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates in underserved populations have been limited by effectiveness and scalability. We evaluate the impact of adding a lottery-based financial incentive to a text messaging program that asks patients to opt-in to receive mailed fecal immunochemical testing (FIT). This is a two-arm pragmatic randomized controlled trial at a community health center in Southwest Philadelphia from April to July 2017. We included CRC screening-eligible patients between ages 50-74 years who had a mobile


Can We Afford to Cure Cancer?

Oct. 26, 2018

Novel gene and cell therapies hold out the promise of a cure for previously incurable conditions, often at eye-popping prices. Last month, more than 75 health policy and biomedical researchers, federal and state regulators, and clinicians convened at the Cost of a Cure Conference at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss key political, economic, and clinical challenges to the future of gene and cell therapies.

Penn’s Gant Family Precision Medicine Consortium Takes on Sustainable Targeted Oncology

Sep. 20, 2018

Biomedical advances in genomics and oncology, combined with rising costs for targeted cancer therapies, challenge the way we currently deliver and pay for cancer care. To foster the economic sustainability of targeted therapies, the University of Pennsylvania convened the Gant Family Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium, a multidisciplinary work group of experts from health care economics, policy, law, regulation, biomedical research, patient advocacy, and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry.

Three Solutions to Maximize the Clinical Benefit and Affordability of Targeted Cancer Drugs

Apr. 18, 2018

Spending on cancer drugs in the United States has nearly doubled in the past five years and continues to grow, imposing substantial financial burden on patients with cancer. One of the biggest drivers of this growth is targeted cancer drugs – small molecules, monoclonal antibodies, and other therapies for cancer that target specific genomic aberrations. Now, a group led by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania has proposed three solutions to maximize the clinical benefit and affordability of targeted cancer drugs.

Orphan Drugs and Precision Cancer Medicine

Apr. 19, 2017

“Orphan drug” is a bit of misnomer, or at least verbal shorthand.  It’s not the drug that’s “orphan” or rare; rather, the disease is the orphan, meaning that it might not affect enough people, and provide enough of a market, to incentivize a drug company to look for therapies. That’s the premise behind the 1983 Orphan Drug Act (ODA), which offers incentives for companies to develop therapies for diseases that affect less than 200,000 people in the United States.

Value Frameworks for Cancer Drugs, US Style

Mar. 30, 2017

Developing a value framework for cancer drugs can sound like an arcane exercise without much relevance to clinical care. Restate it as a question of how, and how much, to pay for cancer drugs, and you’ve got everyone’s attention.

International Comparison of Frameworks for Valuing Drugs

Mar. 1, 2017

“Pay more for drugs that do more.” Although few would argue with the concept of paying for value, the mechanism for doing so has thus far eluded our multi-payer, market-based system. The Gant Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania looked past US borders to learn about mechanisms in other countries, in its quest to recommend sustainable frameworks for valuing precision cancer drugs.

It Takes a Consortium: New Group Tackles Precision Cancer Medicine

Oct. 27, 2016

A new multidisciplinary consortium of more than 20 experts and stakeholders has come together at Penn to address the promise and challenges of precision cancer medicine. Through multiple conference calls culminating in a conference in May 2017, the group will tackle the hard questions that precision medicine raises for patients, providers, and payers. This is the first in a series of posts on the consortium’s work.