by: Sarah Sheehan, Program Lead, CancerX at the Digital Medicine Society 

In the lead-up to ASCO 2024 the oncology enterprise has much to celebrate. New drug approvals at FDA reached a three-decade high with anticancer drugs representing the largest percentage of new approvals. EHR vendors are making proactive commitments to cancer data standards to support scientific breakthroughs and more effective cancer treatment. And, for the first time ever, payers are offering a new reimbursable pathway for improved cancer outcomes via comprehensive supportive care. 

In 2024 the oncology enterprise is also presented, however, with plenty of opportunities to address long-standing challenges in the delivery of equitable care. 

Old Problems, New Approaches

This year in particular, advances in cancer research and care delivery have been made possible in part by the meaningful use of digital health technologies. Digital programs are dramatically increasing the rates of lung and colorectal cancer screening as NIH launches a research network to evaluate emerging cancer screening technologies. AI has also been a huge support in the effort to improve cancer diagnosis and management. The technology has been proven effective in improving cancer detection and has produced real-world impact in patient engagement and management at field-leading cancer institutions.

Finally, cancer researchers should be optimistic about how historic approvals for the use of connected devices in clinical trials could support more efficient, and equitable, cancer trial conduct.  

A Moonshot for More Equitable Care

To ensure that the benefits of oncology innovation accrue to all patients, we must get serious about addressing disparities in trial access and cancer drug shortages. Unfortunately, drug shortages are also at an all-time high, and community cancer centers, where most patients receive their treatment, suffer the most. Disparities in therapeutic access are mirrored in the cancer research enterprise, where a recent study shows substantial geographic disparities in the availability of cancer clinical trials across the US, highlighting the impact of SDOH factors on access to precision cancer care. 

The good news is that public and private partners are working diligently, together, to make strides in the provision of improved cancer care for more patients. At CancerX– a public-private partnership announced by The White House as a national accelerator to boost innovation in the fight against cancer as part of the reignited Cancer Moonshot– we’re taking aim at equity issues in cancer. We are also proud to partner with the 170+ CancerX members, including Medable, who are leveraging their own platforms and expertise to support equitable access to optimized trials, treatment, and outcomes for cancer patients. 

Ahead of ASCO it is clear that transformation in the oncology enterprise is a big lift. We’ve got a strong team committed to making the Moonshot vision of modern, equitable cancer care a reality and if you're interested in joining us and Medable to do so, visit: or