The Move Toward Publishing Cancer Survival Statistics

March 3, 2011

The Daily Pennsylvanian

Caryn Lerman, PhD, interim director of the Abramson Cancer Center, is quoted in a Daily Pennsylvanian article detailing Fox Chase Cancer Center's recent move to publish a comparison of their patients' survival rates compared to certain community hospitals. "The type of data that Fox Chase published can be misleading, because the survival outcomes are taken out of the context of clinical features of tumors, treatment, and other factors," Lerman said. Abramson does have a cancer registry and network for data collection, but would only make these numbers public "in a responsible manner that takes into account the analysis of variables that alter survival outcomes," she said. Arthur Caplan, PhD, director of the Bioethics Center, is also quoted in the story. He notes that because there is no standardized way to measure outcomes comparisons, "the data looks more like advertising than it does a way to compare between places." Read More