The VA Point-of-Care Precision Oncology Program: Balancing Access with Rapid Learning in Molecular Cancer Medicine

Biomark Cancer. 2016 Feb 29;8:9-16. doi: 10.4137/BIC.S37548. eCollection 2016.


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognized the need to balance patient-centered care with responsible creation of generalizable knowledge on the effectiveness of molecular medicine tools. Embracing the principles of the rapid learning health-care system, a new clinical program called the Precision Oncology Program (POP) was created in New England. The POP integrates generalized knowledge about molecular medicine in cancer with a database of observations from previously treated veterans. The program assures access to modern genomic oncology practice in the veterans affairs (VA), removes disparities of access across the VA network of clinical centers, disseminates the products of learning that are generalizable to non-VA settings, and systematically presents opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials of targeted therapeutics.

Keywords: Bayesian; learning health-care system; lung cancer; precision oncology; veterans.