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European cancer research database launched

The UK's NICE has launched a new database to aid the identification and prioritisation of future cancer research across Europe

The UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has launched a new database to aid the identification and prioritisation of future cancer research across Europe.

The Database of Cancer Uncertainties (DoCU) has been developed through the Coordination of Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines in Europe (CoCanCPG) initiative. CoCanCPG is a consortium of 16 institutional partners from 11 countries funded by the European Commission.

Uncertainties around the evidence base used in guideline development are common and it is rare that all aspects of the management of a condition are supported by high quality research evidence, states NICE. In some circumstances, the research has not been done and even where it has been done, it may be methodologically flawed or inconclusive.

The database will provide a tool to bring the uncertainties together and link to other initiatives such as the UK's Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs). The uncertainties will be prioritised so they can then be promoted to research funders and researchers across the EU. Tracking mechanisms will be developed to avoid duplication of effort and highlight clinical trials in which patients can participate.

Sir Michael Rawlins, NICE chairman, said: "The cost of carrying out research projects into the management and treatment of cancer can be vast. This database will help research agencies to concentrate their efforts on those areas of cancer that are in desperate need of further investigation. The CoCanCPG database, hosted on the NICE website, represents an important pan-European information resource which will help to inform and prioritise research into cancer and how it can be best treated for years to come."

The database can be found on the NICE website.

3rd December 2009

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