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For the hematology community, AI and RWD are top of mind

To successfully treat blood cancers, hematological oncologists need the best possible tools available. Fortunately, there are a huge number of new breakthroughs in drug development, treatment guidelines, and decision support technologies occurring every day.

It’s no wonder, then, that experts focusing on these diseases flock to the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to get the latest scoop on what’s happening in the field and bring back cutting-edge knowledge to their own organizations.

2023’s ASH conference took place in San Diego this past December, and the overarching themes for the meeting were heavily rooted in how to apply data-driven technologies to the diagnosis and treatment of hematological malignancies.

Naturally, artificial intelligence took center stage in many conversations – but so did questions about the data that underpins these powerful algorithms.

Some attendees expressed concerns about poor data quality and the unintentional biases or errors that can result from lackluster training.  Fortunately, they also widely recognized that high-quality, well curated real world data (RWD) is the answer.

“We’ve seen rapidly growing interest in RWD for the past few years at ASH, but this year’s buzz around AI has taken the discussions to the next level,” said Vice President of Research and Quality Andrew Belli from COTA, who attended the event. “I’m glad that the life sciences and clinical communities truly understand the importance of high-quality RWD for supporting trustworthy AI tools, and it’s exciting to see RWD becoming more deeply integrated into how we approach blood cancer care.”

Belli noted that life science companies and provider organizations alike are seeking larger, more diverse real-world datasets that meet stringent quality criteria, both to catalyze AI development and support the next generation of clinical trials and observational research.

“RWD brings massive benefits to the research space as sponsors prioritize flexibility, inclusivity, and efficiency,” he said. “COTA has always been a leader in this area, and we’re pleased to partner with the FDA, leading life science companies, academic institutions, and others to present several posters at the conference, as well as having our datasets used in many more studies showcased during the meeting.”

For example, authors from COTA and the FDA collaborated on a study titled “Real-world Treatment Patterns Among Patients with Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia with TP53 Mutation in the United States,” which highlighted the capability of using RWD to characterize the outcomes of a specific genetic subtype present in people with AML.

Other posters from notable authors, including Bristol Myers Squibb, AbbVie, Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, and Mount Sinai, used COTA’s RWD to address a variety of issues, such as clinical outcomes in people with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, real-world response rates across different lines of therapy for people with follicular lymphoma, and real-world treatment patterns and outcomes for newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia patients.

The surge of research projects successfully leveraging RWD to answer important clinical questions shows that there is a strong appetite for more granular insights into how actual patients are faring in community practice.

Ensuring that researchers have access to trustworthy and comprehensive real-world data will be crucial for augmenting these efforts, especially as artificial intelligence gets added to the mix.

“With the explosion of investment in artificial intelligence and the ongoing focus on efficiency in research, we’re coming to a crucial inflection point for RWD,” Belli concluded. “This year’s ASH meeting really drove home the importance of RWD for blood cancer care, and COTA is passionate about continuing to work with our partners across the entire oncology community to accelerate the delivery of data-driven cancer care.”