Precision Oncology with Electronic Medical Records

Losiana Nayak, *Rajat K. De

Machine Intelligence Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India
*Correspondence to

Disclosure: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
Acknowledgements: Losiana Nayak acknowledges University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India, for a UGC Post-Doctoral Fellowship (No. F.15-1/2013-14/PDFWM-2013-14-GE-ORI-19068[SA-II]).
Received: 01.09.17 Accepted: 12.12.17
Citation: EMJ Innov. 2018;2[1]:64-72.


Electronic medical record (EMR)-based precision oncology is a vision that is so far limited to a few pilot and basket studies, with the goal being the design of a proper treatment for cancer patients in real time, based on the panomics knowledge of the patient, and that of similar types of patients. It aims to deliver better treatment outcomes through the design of rational drug combinations, a lower number of futile therapies, reduced patient discomfort, and a healthy human society with a reduced risk of cancer. The concept of precision oncology began with a few cancer awareness programmes and preventative screenings almost a decade ago. However, the technique took an astronomical leap with the start of the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program and Cancer Moonshot programme very recently. Both projects have invested heavily towards several goals, including the merging of cancer registries and EMR to find the best treatment options for a cancer patient, an idea which, if extended globally, will generate unprecedented possibilities for precision oncology. EMR serve as a broad platform merging a variety of patient information and expert advice to facilitate co-ordinated cancer care. In this article, a summary of the recent EMR-based precision oncology practices for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, prediction, and their associated concerns and limitations is presented. Though the path of precision oncology is unchartered, the usefulness of real-time information derived from EMR or electronic health records will lead to better precision decision-based oncotherapies.

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