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New Cancer Treatments Lie Hidden Under Mountains of Paperwork

Dr. Nikhil Wagle thought he had a brilliant idea to advance research and patient care.Dr. Wagle, an oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and his colleagues would build a huge database that linked cancer patients’ medical records, treatments and outcomes with their genetic backgrounds and the genetics of their tumors.The database would also include patients’ own experiences. How ill did they feel with the treatments? What was their quality of life? The database would find patterns that would tell doctors what treatment was best for each patient and what patients might expect.The holdup, he thought, would be finding patients. Instead, the real impediment turned…

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