Noise-Canceling Information

October 2011, Vol 2, No 6
Ron Ribitzky, MD
Policy Coordinator, Association of Community Cancer Centers

New discoveries in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer abound, but what is just “noise”? What is in oncology that is interesting, intriguing, inspiring, yet still just “noise,” because the path to action “here and now” is missing, or not obvious?

If biology is a system of information,1 the practice of medicine is an evergrowing struggle of making sense of that information. With exponential growth in scope and diversity of raw information, processed knowledge, and predictive hypotheses, making the right decision and acting on it in oncology feels ever more elusive.

And if leveraging information systems to provide the best-quality cancer care is not that easy,2 where does it leave us?

Value-Based Cancer Care teamed up with Ron Ribitzky, MD, to facilitate a noise-canceling journey on this subject. The goal is to collaborate with you, the reader, to identify topics of interest and diversified points of view. This new column aims to respond to your queries in the pages of this journal and in an online forum.

Submit your questions or suggestions for a topic of your interest at


  1. Maureen Cronin, PhD. Personalized Medicine World Conference. June 2010; Herzeliya, Isreal.
  2. Cook G. Impact of EHRs on oncology practice: enhancing the value of cancer care. Value-Based Cancer Care. 2011;2(5):32-33.

Dr Ribitzky ( is a former clinician who converted to informatics, with more than 20 years of worldwide experience in the science and practice of information technology in healthcare and life-sciences informatics

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