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By Chatrick Paul, SVP, Head of US Oncology Business, AstraZeneca

While the global pandemic has disrupted cancer care services globally, clinical progress in the oncology field has certainly not slowed down. On the heels of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Meeting where AstraZeneca presented practice-changing data across multiple tumor types, we continue to revolutionize outcomes for patients with updates across a range of innovative clinical trials in breast cancer (DESTINY-Breast03) and lung cancer (DESTINY-Lung01, COAST, CASPIAN and POSEIDON) at the World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) and European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Meeting – further validating our relentless pursuit to be cancer’s fiercest opponent.

Advancing our blueprint for cancer care

The late José Baselga – one of the most pioneering figures in precision oncology and former executive vice president of AstraZeneca’s oncology research and development – challenged AstraZeneca and the larger oncology community to fulfill that bold vision to be cancer’s fiercest opponent by following these guiding principles:

  • Relentlessly push the boundaries of science: Our clinical strategy must be designed to help transform survival. At AstraZeneca, we are challenging treatment boundaries, focusing on finding cures for some of the most aggressive and hard-to-treat cancers, including breast, lung, ovarian, prostate, bladder, liver, cervical and pancreatic cancers, as well as certain blood cancers.
  • Courageously design innovative clinical trials: The success of our medicines starts in the laboratories with our clinical trials. While the outbreak of the pandemic brought significant logistical complexity to the clinical trial recruitment and retention processes, a year and a half into the pandemic, we are making strides that provide a roadmap for ongoing trial designs. We are also doing our part to address the significant and long-standing health inequalities in the US in clinical trials and beyond. To that end, we have launched the ACT on Health Equity program, a five-year initiative that includes the establishment of a Health Equity Advisory Council, composed of nationally renowned experts to accelerate our acumen and advise on a long-term roadmap to advance health equity for underserved populations in the US.
  • Frequently challenge our assumptions: We must think differently about the underlying genetic causes of cancer and set our sights on transforming the way people with cancer are diagnosed and treated – by uncovering new biomarkers and therapeutic targets, and focusing on the properties of a tumor, not just its type. This includes our precision medicine ambition to dramatically accelerate biomarker testing across all tumor types and cancer stages by 2025.
  • Always learn from the data: We are applying artificial intelligence (AI) and digital therapeutics to identify and target new pathologies and patients at risk of recurrence faster. This includes the use of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) diagnostic to identify EGFR mutations in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, so that physicians can intervene earlier and tailor treatment options to the individual person. Beyond the science, we are also rethinking our approach to how we engage physicians and people living with cancer by incorporating face-to-face and digital tools in the new remote environment. To accomplish this, we deploy insights and analytics to get a better understanding of individual physician’s perspective and a patient’s experience from diagnosis to treatment to establish a full view of the disease journey. Not only does this help us to understand the full complexities of the disease area, it enables us to provide better support for providers, patients and the broader community, such as through our immuno-oncology patient centricity program.
  • And fearlessly collaborate with others: To drive meaningful change for those affected by and living with cancer, multidisciplinary approaches to solving complex issues can only be accomplished through the collective expertise of the whole oncology community.

With this blueprint in hand, we are continuing to advance our bold ambition toward a future where everyone living with cancer has access to innovative, life-changing treatment and prevention.

Leading the cancer revolution responsibly 

No one chooses cancer, but once they are diagnosed, they place their trust in their care team. At AstraZeneca, we do not take lightly our responsibility to ensure the right patients get the right medicine at the right time—a very vulnerable moment in their lives. While our commitment in the revolution to redefine cancer care is clearer than ever, we are also reminded every day that patients are desperately waiting, and we cannot rest until cancer is no longer a leading cause of death.

For more information, visit Start with One page on

US-56975 Last Updated 8/21