Practice Matters

News from Lola Butcher about health policy and practice management issues of importance to oncologists

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why Does a Billionaire Take an Administrative Job?

OT readers have been watching Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, founder of Abraxis Bioscience (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here), for years, so you may think of him as the surgeon who developed albumin-bound paclitaxel. But he is also chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation and chairman and CEO of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health, National LambdaRail, the Healthcare Transformation Institute and NantHealth, minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Forbes’ pick as the wealthiest American in the healthcare industry.


And, as of this month, he is working for Providence Health & Services, a huge healthcare system on the West Coast, in the post of global director for cancer services and bioinformatics.


Yes, he needed the job -- not for the money, but for the opportunity to fulfill his vision for redefining cancer care through genomic medicine. In an interview with Modern Healthcare, Soon-Shiong said: “With Providence, there's an opportunity to take one of the largest healthcare systems on the West Coast, with 25,000 new diagnoses of cancer patients each year and 100,000 cancer patients across five different states, and institute this whole new paradigm of cancer care that is evidence-based and genomic-driven.”  


The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine is partnering with Providence to create the country’s first clinical genomic network for whole genomic sequencing. According to a news release from Providence:

“Dr. Soon-Shiong’s recent execution of rapid analysis of more than 10,000 tumor and germline whole exomes or genomes, representing more than 6,000 patients across 20 different tumor types, demonstrated that the molecular signature of a cancer patient is independent of the anatomical tumor type.


“These findings are in stark contrast to widely held medical assumptions. These findings have the ability to vastly improve treatment recommendations because they suggest that a hypothetical breast cancer patient could potentially have more in common with a lung cancer patient than another person with the same ‘type’ of cancer.”