Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

Thousands could be saved by new cancer database

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 12/07/2013

A new database of cancer cases has been announced by the government department responsible for the protection and improvement of health in England.

Public Health England (PHE) says the database has the potential to annually save the lives of thousands of cancer sufferers.

Largest cancer database in the world

The database, based on every individual cancer case and the specific treatment applied, will be taken from millions of records and will comprise the world's largest resource of its type. PHE hopes the database will in due course contribute to every cancer patient receiving specialist and personalised care.

Gathering clinical information on each of the diagnosed 350,000 cancers in England, the database will cover over 11 million records of cases from as long ago as the early 1980s. It will enable nationwide cancer care experts, for the 1st time, to benefit from the huge pool of clinical details when determining how each new diagnosis ought to be treated.

PHE said the initiative had the potential to be the world's most complete, detailed and data-rich cancer resource.

"This is game changing," said Jem Rashbass, leader of PHE's Cancer Registration Service. "This puts us at the forefront of cancer care for the next 2 decades."

A rare and unique disease

Mr Rashbass noted that every cancer patient effectively suffers from a rare and unique disease. "This allows us to carry out refined searches to see how other tumours have responded to identify the optimum treatment as early as possible."

The cancer database, which will be run by PHE, has been launched at the Cancer Outcomes Conference in Brighton before an audience of hundreds of cancer experts. The event was hosted by the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

The announcement from PHE came hard on the heels of a report by MacMillan Cancer Support forecasting that within a decade 50% of everyone in the UK will develop a form of cancer. Due to advances in medicine, 40% of them are expected to survive.

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