Jun 04, 2018

GNS Healthcare and Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Present Results of Causal Modeling that Identifies Clinical and Molecular Drivers of Survival in Colorectal Cancer Patients

Results presented at ASCO 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago show drivers at baseline allow better risk stratification at initiation of treatment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass- June 4, 2018 – GNS Healthcare (GNS), a leading precision medicine company, together with the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (Alliance), announced today the presentation of a poster supporting results that the location of the primary tumor within the colon plays a central role as an independent driver of overall survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The study, “Causal modeling of CALGB 80405 (Alliance) identifies network drivers of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC)”, is being presented at the ASCO 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The results stem from a partnership between GNS and Alliance, announced in 2015, to apply a powerful form of AI called causal machine learning to the CALGB 80405 (Alliance) phase III clinical trial in order to better identify patient subpopulations that may respond to combination treatments for mCRC. The first phase of results using predictive models was presented at the ASCO 2017 Annual Meeting.

This second phase of the collaboration focused on leveraging the REFSTM causal machine learning platform to build models of response to two different treatments (cetuximab or bevacizumab) using data from more than 2,000 patients. The causal models, using only clinical variables, revealed that primary tumor side is an independent driver of survival outcomes and is not confounded by any other clinical variable. The analysis also showed that AST, hemoglobin concentrations and metastatic sites are independent drivers of survival outcomes and can serve as potential biomarkers. If available, these measures taken at baseline will allow for better patient stratification for risk of progression at the beginning of treatment.

“The work being presented today showcases the power of causal AI to discover disease and drug mechanisms directly from rich multi-modal patient clinical trial data,” said Dr. Iya Khalil, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of GNS Healthcare. “In today’s world of data and analytics, there’s a lot of noise, and it’s crucial to use the right technology to not only improve patient care but to understand the underlying causes.”

The third phase of the GNS-Alliance collaboration is ongoing and includes causal modeling of the molecular data from the CALGB 80405 (Alliance) study, including gene expression, somatic mutation, microsatellite instability, and blood-based biomarker data, with the goal of understanding the molecular pathways linking primary site to outcomes and of identifying biomarkers predicting benefit from either cetuximab or bevacizumab.

“It’s an exciting time in cancer research. We’re are now in a position where we can leverage rich data with cutting edge technology to discover new biology and ultimately answer questions of disease progression and treatment efficacy for patients, with the ultimate goal of curing colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Alan Venook, Study Chair for the CALGB 80405 (Alliance) study, Madden Family Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology and Translational Research at the University of California-San Francisco, and Shorenstein Associate Director for Program Development at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, and it is estimated that more than 140,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2018. Metastatic, or stage IV colon cancers, have a 5-year relative survival rate of about 11%.

About the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology develops and conducts clinical trials with promising new cancer therapies, and utilizes the best science to develop optimal treatment and prevention strategies for cancer, and researches methods to alleviate side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. The Alliance has been awarded a grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a member of the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) in addition to a grant to serve as a research base for the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Collectively, the Alliance comprises nearly 10,000 cancer specialists at hospitals, medical centers, and community clinics across the United States and Canada. To learn more about the Alliance, visit www.AllianceforClinicalTrialsinOncology.org.

About GNS Healthcare
GNS Healthcare solves healthcare’s matching problem for leading health plans, biopharma companies, and health systems. We transform massive and diverse data streams to precisely match therapeutics, procedures, and care management interventions to individuals improving health outcomes and saving billions of dollars. Our causal machine and simulation platform, REFS, accelerates the discovery of what works for whom and why.



Media Contact:
Patty Kellicker
VP, Marketing