What you need to know about the coronavirus and temporary visitor restrictions at our hospitals.

Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Syapse Among Select Group to Take Center Stage at National Biden Cancer Summit

September 21, 2018
Kalkanis Bidens

Henry Ford Cancer Institute and Its Precision Medicine Partner Syapse Commitment to Paving a Path for Health Systems Across the Country to Work Together, Share Data for Cutting Edge Cancer Treatment.





WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steven N. Kalkanis, M.D., Medical Director of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Jonathan Hirsch, President of Syapse, Henry Ford’s cancer precision medicine partner, were among a select group to present on the main stage of the national Biden Cancer Summit on Sept. 21, 2018 in Washington, D.C.


The duo represented the only adult health system cancer program invited to speak at the Summit’s “Commitment to Progress” plenary session, which reached more than 250,000 people.   


“We are at an inflection point in the understanding and treatment of cancer and are starting to break down barriers and change the culture in ways that are needed to deliver what patients deserve – a cancer research and care system that puts saving lives above all else. The commitments we have received, including Henry Ford Cancer Institute and Syapse bring us closer to developing the right systems, the right culture to get us there,” said Vice President Joe Biden.


At Vice President Biden’s inaugural Cancer Moonshot initiative in June 2016, a White House announcement introduced Henry Ford’s partnership with Syapse, the leading precision medicine software company.


Responding to Vice President Biden's national Cancer Moonshot effort to double the rate of progress toward ending cancer as we know it, Henry Ford made a commitment to share cancer outcomes data with other health systems through the Syapse software platform.


At the 2018 Summit, Dr. Kalkanis and Hirsch reaffirmed the commitment to cancer precision medicine and made a pledge to pave a path for health systems across the country to work together and share data for cutting edge cancer treatment.


“Real-time, crowd-sourced sharing of key data points will finally make a dent in malignant brain tumors, which recently took the life of Senator John McCain, as well as Ted Kennedy, Beau Biden, and approximately 17,000 Americans each year,” Dr. Kalkanis told the Summit audience.


“By offering targeted drugs and precision immunotherapy in patients with clinically validated mutations, we’re seeing better outcomes and lower costs for those who have not responded to standard treatments. The best part is that it offers hope to patients.”


Dr. Kalkanis also highlighted the new Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion in Detroit, which will have, when it opens in 2020, a robust molecular tumor board process for all cancers, linked in a real-time dashboard to providers at many remote sites, to offer the right clinical trials and cutting-edge therapies, to the right patient, at the right time.


Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hosted the national Biden Cancer Summit to drive the urgency of now by promoting new solutions, bringing together problem solvers, and telling stories that epitomize what it means to be cancer FIERCE.


The Summit in D.C. was the flagship event of more than 350 Biden Cancer Community Summits convening throughout the day, all focused on improving the cancer journey for patients, their families, and caregivers.


Vice President Joe Biden said: “The goal of the Biden Cancer Summit is to show progress from partners and to engage communities to tell us what issues most plague them, and to bring all resources possible to the fight to identify issues and solutions that matter locally and nationally.”


The Biden Cancer Initiative called on public and private sector organizations to develop new innovative programs and partnerships that will double the rate of progress against cancer and improve the cancer patient experience. Announced at the Biden Cancer Summit, these commitments spotlight collaboration and show demonstrable impact.


About the Biden Cancer Initiative

The Biden Cancer Initiative is an independent nonprofit organization committed to developing and driving the implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research, and care, and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes.


About the Henry Ford Cancer Institute

The Henry Ford Cancer Institute is one of the largest cancer programs in Michigan, providing care at five hospitals and six outpatient facilities, and dozens of aligned doctor’s offices throughout southeast and southcentral Michigan. Treatment for the most complex or rare cancers and the Institute’s extensive cancer research program is anchored by Henry Ford Hospital. For more information, visit www.henryford.com/cancer.