CancerLinQ and Owkin collaborate to use federated learning on real-world oncology data in a study to understand lung cancer treatment

For immediate release
July 7, 2022


Amanda Narod

Alexandria, VA and Paris – ASCO’s CancerLinQ and Owkin announced today a new research collaboration to use artificial intelligence to analyze real-world oncology data with the aim to understand why some cases of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are resistant to first-line immunotherapy treatment.

Using data from CancerLinQ® Discovery, one of the largest and most-diverse real-world-oncology databases that include de-identified data from more than 6 million patients with cancer, as well as de-identified data from a European research site, Owkin will deploy its proprietary federated learning algorithms to identify possible predictive factors that could inform the understanding of why some patients with NSCLC respond poorly to immunotherapy treatment. The study will also compare patient characteristics, treatment factors, and clinical outcomes of patients with advanced NSCLC.

Federated learning, a decentralized machine learning approach that trains machine learning models with multiple data sources, maintains privacy and ownership while allowing participants to benefit from a larger amount of data than their own. Instead of gathering data on a single server, the data remains locked on servers as the algorithms and only the predictive models travel between the servers.

“Unlocking the full potential of real-world data to advance cancer care and research requires new modes of data sharing at scale and applying next-generation analytical methods such as AI to complex multimodal datasets, both of which are key features of this exciting research collaboration,” said Sean Khozin, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of CancerLinQ. “Federated learning allows a safe and secure method of sharing data and collaborating across siloes and continents as one global cancer research community focused on advancing discoveries that can improve the lives of patients with cancer.”

“The next generation of medical breakthroughs will be unlocked by the application of artificial intelligence to vast amounts of rich patient data,” said Thomas Clozel MD, Co-founder and CEO of Owkin. “We are excited to use our federated learning software to safely and securely analyze  CancerLinQ’s diverse patient data. We are excited to work together to make discoveries that can contribute to improving treatment for millions of lung cancer patients across the world.”

Worldwide, lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer in the United States, accounting for 82% of all lung cancer diagnoses.

About ASCO: 

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world’s leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube

About CancerLinQ

CancerLinQ® is a real-world oncology data platform developed by ASCO that collects and aggregates longitudinal electronic health record data from oncology practices throughout the United States. CancerLinQ aims to improves the quality of patient care and accelerate discovery by securely compiling, harmonizing, analyzing, and de-identifying vast amounts of information on patient characteristics (e.g., molecular profiles, comorbidities), treatments, and long-term side effects. By using data from over six million patients in near real time, CancerLinQ can identify trends and associations between myriad variables, thereby enabling physicians to generate new hypotheses and apply those conclusions to improve care in real-world settings. Follow CancerLinQ on Twitter or connect with us on LinkedIn.

About Owkin

Owkin is a French-American startup that uses artificial intelligence to find the right treatment for every patient. Our focus is to use AI to discover and develop better treatments for unmet medical needs, starting with the fight against cancer.

We use AI to identify new drug candidates, de-risk and accelerate clinical trials and build diagnostic tools that improve patient outcomes. Using federated learning, a pioneering collaborative AI framework, Owkin enables biomedical partners and other stakeholders to unlock valuable insights from siloed datasets while protecting patient privacy and securing proprietary data.

Owkin was co-founded by Thomas Clozel MD, a former assistant professor in clinical onco-hematology, and Gilles Wainrib, a pioneer in the field of machine learning in biology, in 2016.