Proteus Digital Health®, Inc., Fairview Health Services, and University of Minnesota Health announced that for the first time cancer patients are using digital oncology medicines to support treatment regimens and improve outcomes. This advancement helps patients complete oral chemotherapy cycles while oncologists gain new insights into their patients’ treatment progress and overall health status.
Proteus developed the care model for oral digital oncology medicines with University of Minnesota Health and Fairview, which is the first health system in the world to prescribe digital capecitabine, a common chemotherapy drug prescribed with the Proteus ingestible sensor. Currently it is being used to help treat stage 3 and 4 colorectal cancer patients.
“Proteus has given us a great opportunity to take our passion for better care management of patients receiving oral oncolytics and move that forward,” said University of Minnesota Physicians oncologist/hematologist Dr. Edward Greeno, who also directs the University of Minnesota Health oncology service line. “Proteus’ digital medicine technology provides a more direct connection to the patient. It creates a way for us to achieve a lot of things that happen when a patient is in the clinic for infusions without them coming in person. Also, we can gain insights about the patient that we can’t learn from an office visit, like how the patient is doing with their treatment regimen while at home, on a daily basis.”
The digital medicines program helps optimize treatment regimens while maintaining a patient’s privacy. The program securely captures, records, and shares information about the time, dose, and type of oral chemotherapy medication taken. This information, as well as data on rest, activity, and resting heart rate, can be shared with the patient’s consent with their physician, pharmacist, or caretaker. The information can only be seen by the patient and their designated individuals on a secure, mobile-friendly platform developed by Proteus.
“Currently, providers make decisions about oral chemotherapy based on patients’ best knowledge of their medication taking,” said Andrew Thompson, CEO and Co-founder of Proteus Digital Health. “For the first time, digital oncology medicines give providers and caregivers new insights and ability to engage with more specific information in the remote care of colorectal cancer patients. Based on our data around the use of digital medicines in other treatment areas, we believe this will enable oncology patients to stay on their therapy longer, avoid hospital admissions, and have better response to therapy overall.”
To expand from its established base of cardiometabolic and infectious disease expertise into oncology, Proteus partnered with Fairview Ventures, the innovation arm of Fairview. Experts from one of the nation’s leading oncology medication management programs at Fairview Pharmacy Services and from the University of Minnesota Health oncology service line formed the comprehensive team that developed the user experience and workflows for digital medicines in the treatment of colorectal cancer.
“Given the costs, complexity, and toxicity risk for oral chemotherapy, digital oncology medicine is an exciting step forward in cancer care,” says Paul Morales, PharmD, BCOP, Fairview Infusion Pharmacy manager at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center. “For pharmacists, it helps us identify patients who might be struggling to take their medication correctly and intervene, for example by giving them a call to explain how to safely move forward if they do miss a dose. For patients, it helps them feel in control as they take a more active role in managing their medication. The results are better outcomes for patients.”
To gather more real-world experience and data from cancer patients using digital medicines, Proteus is launching a digital oral oncolytic medication registry. This study will gather data from multiple sites spanning academic medical centers to community practices and urban to rural facilities. Patients from participating sites will be prescribed digital capecitabine to assist them in their treatment. Data collected from the study will be used to share best practices across many sites, enabling richer data and outcome analysis.
“Proteus’ expansion of support for digital medicines into the oncology treatment area is not only important for patients and providers, it will be a game changer for the industry developing therapies intended to one day eradicate cancer,” said Olivia Ware, Proteus’ new Senior Vice President of US Markets and Franchise Development, who brings more than 15 years of commercial oncology experience from across a number of biopharma companies. Data gathered from digital oral oncolytics will enable cancer drugs and treatment regimens to be optimized to work their best for each individual patient, something not possible until now.”