American Cancer Society, Flatiron Health Impact Award Goes to Drs. Dawn Hershman and Melissa Accordino

October 25, 2021

Dawn Hershman, MD, and Melissa Accordino, MD, have received the 2021 Real-World Data Impact Award from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Flatiron Health, for their research investigating the toxicity and efficacy of oral antineoplastic drugs and identifying disparities in care that exist in regards to the use of these new anticancer medications. In clinical trials, these novel anticancer agents have improved survival among patients with metastatic hormone sensitive breast cancer. However, these trials have also reported low numbers of racial and ethnic minority patients, and as a result, toxicities and efficacy in these groups are largely unknown. Dr. Hershman and Dr. Accordino hope to uncover important information to design interventions that will reduce care disparities.

Drs. Dawn Hershman and Melissa Accordino
Dawn Hershman, MD, & Melissa Accordino, MD

The Real-World Data Impact Awards support research in health disparities among patients with advanced pancreatic and breast cancer. As part of the award, Flatiron Health will offer researchers access to their de-identified dataset derived from cancer patient health records and to Flatiron and ACS clinical and methodological experts. 

“This collaboration between the American Cancer Society and Flatiron Health will allow us to take a deeper look into health inequity among women with metastatic breast cancer and investigate disparities in access, toxicity and discontinuation of newer oral anti-cancer therapies,” says Dr. Hershman, co-leader of the Cancer Population Science Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) and director of breast oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. “With their support, we hope to make great strides in uncovering health disparities related to advance breast cancer.” 

Dr. Hershman is a pioneer in cancer care delivery, late-effects of cancer therapy, health outcomes, and health disparities research. Dr. Accordino, a member of the HICCC and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, specializes in improving the quality and delivery of cancer care and cancer survivorship. The overall goal of their work is to improve quality and outcomes within oncology. 

This year marks the third year of the joint grant-making program, under which ACS-funded researchers have the opportunity to apply for additional funding and access to Flatiron real-world data.