Case study

Discovering 6x More Cachectic Cancer Patients for Trials and New Therapies: Improving Outcomes and Saving the NHS £1 Billion Annually

The Challenge 

Cachexia is a muscle wasting condition associated with chronic conditions such as immune disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It is highly prevalent amongst cancer patients and can adversely impact their outcomes. However, cachexia symptoms in cancer patients are often overlooked due to their similarity to treatment side effects, making it hard to diagnose. 

  • Cancer cachexia affects 80% of patients with advanced cancers, but up to 90% remain undiagnosed, accounting for 20% of cancer mortalities. 
  • A study of 3.1 million cancer patients in the U.S. showed that only 100,000 had been diagnosed with cachexia, suggesting that an estimated 96% of patients had been missed, considering the known prevalence of cancer cachexia is 80%.

Pangaea was approached by two global pharmaceutical companies from the US and Japan seeking to find more cachectic cancer patients to achieve their respective operational objectives of maximizing patient recruitment for a global, multi-center clinical trial and finding more suitable patients for a newly launched therapy. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of clinical trial success and greater revenue from treating more patients.

From the healthcare provider’s perspective, Pangaea found that oncologists from the NHS were also highly motivated to find more cachectic cancer patients due to its high prevalence and its impact on patient outcomes.

Pangaea’s Solution 

NHS oncologists applied Pangaea’s product platform and found six times more cachectic cancer patients compared to conventional ICD and NLP approaches. The earlier discovery of these patients halved treatment costs from £10,000 to £5,000 per patient,  leading to £1 billion annual savings in the context of 200,000 such patients in the UK, as well as improved resource optimization (such as nutritionists) and improved patient outcomes. 

“Early identification of cancer cachexia remains a challenge, but the earlier it is identified, the quicker we can start treatment to prevent or treat cachexia. Pangaea’s product is helping to fill this gap by discovering clinical insights from patient records to find more clinically validated patients earlier.” Dr. Barry Laird and Dr. Richard Skipworth, Oncologists, NHS Lothian

For the pharmaceutical sponsors, this expanded patient cohort provided access to six times more clinically validated patients for treatment and streamlined clinical trial recruitment, enhanced data quality, accelerated treatment development and increased the translatability to real-world clinical practice, resulting in a six fold increase in revenue.

These insights are discovered without requiring any transaction of patient data, as Pangaea’s product is deployed within the environment in which the data resides – ensuring full compliance with privacy regulations and providing a readout in 8-10 weeks. Pangaea’s single product platform also eliminates the need for healthcare and pharmaceutical providers to engage with each other on a project-by-project basis, as is easily distributable to a global network of healthcare providers, such as the 140,000 healthcare providers on Azure. This facilitates efficient collaboration for accessing valuable insights and finding more patients for screening or therapies at scale. 

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