publication date: Sep. 21, 2018

As José Baselga clears his desk, MSK forms task force on conflicts; meanwhile, new allegations emerge over center’s role in AI start-up

By Paul Goldberg

José Baselga, who has resigned from his positions as physician-in-chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is winding down his research and clinical activities at that institution, officials said.

After Baselga’s resignation, two publicly traded companies—Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Varian Medical Systems Inc.—announced Baselga’s departure from their boards of directors, and MSK has convened a task force physicians, scientists, and external experts to review and update the cancer center’s relevant policies and processes involving conflicts of interest.

The fallout from The New York Times and ProPublica Sept. 8 story about Baselga’s years-long failure to disclose conflicts of interest continued last week as the Times editorial board on Sept. 16 published an editorial about conflicts of interest at the cancer center.

Another Times-ProPublica story published on Sept. 20 questioned MSK’s role in establishing Paige.AI, an artificial intelligence start-up that aims to use the hospital’s pathology archive—consisting of tissue slides from 25 million patients—to develop deep learning algorithms and create a decision support system for pathologists.

“We have requested a correction to The New York Times and ProPublica for statements made about the sharing of tissue slides,” an MSK spokesperson said to The Cancer Letter. “We feel this is inaccurate as no patient tissue, patient slides, or protected health information has been—or will be—used by, or shared with, Paige.AI.

“Only digital images and diagnostic data, both of which are stripped of patient identifiers, are shared with the company for the purpose of developing machine learning … Continue reading As José Baselga clears his desk, MSK forms task force on conflicts; Meanwhile, new allegations emerge over center’s role in AI start-up

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