Press Release

Syapse Highlights Real-World Evidence Related to COVID-19 and Cancer at AACR Virtual Meeting

Presentation demonstrates importance of rapidly-generated Real-World Data (RWD) from Syapse Learning Health Network to support clinical decision-making

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 22, 2020 — Syapse®, a real-world data company accelerating the delivery of precision medicine through the Syapse Learning Health NetworkTM, today announced results based on real-world data that were highlighted at the AACR Virtual Meeting on COVID-19 and Cancer. Findings from the research suggest a higher incidence of COVID-19 reported among Black Americans, and worsened outcomes in patients with cancer and COVID-19. For people with cancer diagnosed sometime over the past five years, who were also diagnosed with COVID-19, there was an increased risk of severe events with an even greater risk among those with active cancer under recent treatment.

“The rapidity with which we conceived of, designed and analyzed this study is nothing short of impressive, and has enabled us to better understand and anticipate the clinical outcomes of patients with cancer and COVID-19,” said Shirish M. Gadgeel, M.D., Division Head for Hematology/Oncology, Associate Director, Patient Experience and Clinical Care at the Henry Ford Health System. “Unfortunately, these evidence-based results provide further proof that minority populations and those at the lowest income levels are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 — including hospitalization and ventilation support.”

“The data we analyzed in collaboration with Syapse revealed a stark reality that people with cancer are at an increased risk of more serious outcomes from COVID-19,” said Harpreet Singh, M.D., Associate Director, Cancer in Older Adults and Special Populations, FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. “It’s imperative that we continue to rapidly examine real-world data to address the urgent health care challenges brought on by this pandemic. We will continue to work diligently to meet the needs of cancer patients, who constitute a vulnerable population at risk of contracting COVID-19.”

Study Objectives and Findings

The study, using Real-World Data (RWD) from an integrated platform for rapid analysis of patients with cancer, with and without COVID-19, across distinct health systems (Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Detroit, Michigan; Advocate Aurora Health, Wisconsin) included 154,585 people who had a diagnosis of malignant cancer and who were treated at health systems within the last five years. The primary study objectives were to rapidly leverage integrated real-world data from electronic medical records and ancillary clinical sources for patients with active cancer and/or a history of cancer.

The study included COVID-19 diagnoses between February 15 and May 13, 2020. The rapidly-generated results included information gathered from direct integrations with the Syapse’s health system partners and structured molecular data from reference labs to provide detailed insights. The key conclusions are listed below. Please visit the Syapse Website to download a copy of the presentation slides.

Compared to cancer patients without COVID-19, cancer patients with COVID-19 have:

  • Higher prevalence of pre-existing cardio-pulmonary/vascular & renal conditions; and
  • Increased risk of hospitalization, mechanical ventilation and mortality.

Groups experiencing increased COVID-19 risk and increased hospitalization and mechanical ventilation were:

  • Non-Hispanic Black patients with cancer; and
  • Patients with cancer and with median annual household income of zero to $30,000.

Factors associated with increased mortality for cancer patients with COVID-19 include:

  • Age, diabetes mellitus, renal failure and pulmonary circulatory disorders (active cancer); and
  • Age and coagulopathy (past history of cancer).

“We continue to explore ways to leverage real-world evidence in order to optimize treatments for cancer patients — especially those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With these results, we shine another light on the more serious manifestations of COVID-19 and in particular, the increased risks for people with cancer, advanced age, and underlying chronic illnesses, along with evidence for health care disparities,” said Thomas Brown, M.D., chief medical officer at Syapse.

Through its collaborations with various health systems, Syapse continues to engage oncologists in its Learning Health Network in joint outcomes research. This work supports Syapse in enabling the use of RWE by oncology care providers to inform patient care decisions. In turn, Syapse incorporates the methodologies used for outcomes derivation into its Learning Health Network capabilities.

About the Syapse Learning Health Network™

This global network of healthcare providers shares real-world data to support clinical decisions and foster collaborations among participants. Healthcare providers, including doctors and nurses, share and learn which cancer treatments produced better real-world outcomes in clinically and molecularly similar patients. Researchers learn from real-world clinical, molecular, treatment and outcomes data. These collaborations are enabled by a secure platform of shared de-identified data that is standardized and normalized across the Learning Health Network and complies with all applicable federal and state data privacy protection regulations.

About Syapse

Syapse works with leading health systems, life sciences companies, and regulators to explore opportunities to use real-world evidence to improve the outcomes of cancer patients. By bringing these organizations together into the Syapse Learning Health NetworkTM, Syapse has built one of the world’s largest networks with a goal to improve outcomes in cancer care through improved precision medicine. Syapse and its partners are working towards a future in which all cancer patients have access to the quality of care they need.