Personalized oncology--matching patients with treatments based on measurably objective characteristics--promises to transform cancer treatment, and be the test case for personalized medicine, more broadly. But for those seeking the payoff of longer and better lives for cancer sufferers, as well as the potential competitive advantages and economic gains in a vast and growing market, significant obstacles remain.

In this Executive Insights, L.E.K. Consulting outlines the major barriers to realizing the vision of personalized oncology:

  • A standardized, integrated and scaled molecular-associations dataset
  • The adoption of new diagnostic tools
  • The healthcare information technology infrastructure to support complex analytics
  • Training of healthcare stakeholders
  • Long-term, aligned incentives

Asserting that data remains the key, the authors identify the component data sets--longitudinal molecular, clinical and outcome--which a truly holistic solution would require. They also identify some of the organizations which are poised to leverage this data, and two already creating new treatment models based on data integration.

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