April 17, 2023

Three Reasons Oncology Marketers Need a Tumor Journey, Not Just a Patient Journey

Photo showing GenX mom and family talking to HCP

With a continued focus on speed of innovation in oncology and the proliferation and ubiquity of tumor boards, the need for a malignancy-centered journey is more critical than ever. Here are three reasons why oncology marketers should consider a tumor journey approach.

1. All journeys are not created equal

EVERSANA INTOUCH has been pioneering a “Tumor Journey” approach that considers the complex, multi-factorial decision-making that permeates every stage of oncologic patient care. Oncology marketing has been slow to evolve into an approach that considers the complexities of diagnosis, treatment, and overall patient-care decisions that are made by multiple stakeholders. Oncology marketing efforts must adapt by mapping diagnostic and treatment journeys through the unique lens of the tumor itself.

2. Cancer care presents complexity for marketers

Tumor boards became widespread in the 1990s, and were initially consultative bodies to the treating physician, only called at single points in patient care. Since then, tumor boards have evolved into shared decision-making bodies that collaborate on diagnosis, staging, treatment, and patient quality of life. Patients and caregivers now participate directly or have representation through patient navigators at tumor board meetings. The availability of various technologies and treatments at different lines of therapy further complicates the multi-disciplinary decision-making process. All of the members of the process are there to bring their unique experience and expertise. As such, each one has their own unique informational needs, weaving a web of customer complexity for marketers to navigate.

3. Current models are not flexible enough

Good marketers recognize the complications at hand in shifting both mindsets and behaviors, but the tools that they currently employ may not. Mapping awareness, consideration, and trial to an individual is most effective when the decision is made between a single clinician and their patients/caregivers. But when treatment decisions are made by a multi-disciplinary team, consideration and trial of a novel agent involves more complex interplay among multiple experts, the patient, and their caregivers. Too many marketers, however, still consider the mindsets of the individual patient or oncologist, without considering the context of the group.

EVERSANA’s tumor journey model flows from diagnosis and staging through multiple lines of treatment. Understanding each decision point and the tumor characteristics that drive these decisions makes it possible to understand customer interactions and enables more effective marketing interventions. For example, studies in myelofibrosis indicate that a particular driver mutation may help predict patient response to treatment. A genetic counselor on that tumor board would need to understand the potential impact on treatment, and a hematologist would require background to better understand the implications of what the genetic counselor would be presenting to the tumor board. Understanding the tumor journey, and understanding the interaction and knowledge gaps between the specialties, is essential for oncology marketers to provide the right messages at the right time to ensure the most informed decision is being made for that patient.

We can all agree that the oncology landscape is dynamic and ever-changing, and EVERSANA INTOUCH’s deep oncology expertise supported by the end-to-end, integrated model, EVERSANA ONCOLOGY Commercialization™, are uniquely addressing challenges in the oncology drug pipeline with agility and data-driven solutions. With an infrastructure designed to cater to tumor type and therapy needs, we’re able to provide manufacturers the flexibility and expertise to customize their strategies and build functional service areas for a successful launch.