Australia to develop world leading internet cancer trials technology

07/05/05

State-of-the-art internet technology will have the potential to establish Australia as a world leader in the quality and efficiency of cancer clinical trials, thanks to a National Health and Medical Research Council enabling grant announced today.

The grant of $1.84 million over five years, awarded to the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA), will enable the development of a secure, efficient national online database to replace paper-based systems for cancer clinical trials.

COSA President, Dr Stephen Ackland, said the proposed system would set a new standard for clinical trials technology and ultimately save and extend human lives, by expediting the "business end of biomedical research into cancer treatments".

"Almost all new discoveries of potential benefit to cancer patients are put through a rigorous clinical trials process, which is the only scientific way to determine which treatments are most effective and how best to administer them," Dr Ackland said.

"This NHMRC grant will enable COSA's co-operative clinical trials groups to revolutionise the way clinical trials are administered, through the development of a state-of-the-art data management system like those used in internet banking.

"Greatly improved data management will allow increasing numbers of patients to access trials and enable us to convert research into evidence-based, life-saving treatments faster and more efficiently."

Dr Ackland said cancer claimed more Australian lives than any other individual cause and was set to increase significantly in prevalence as our population aged.

"It is more important than ever to use the best technology available to work towards reducing the burden of cancer, through the trialling of new treatments and improved use of established agents including radiation, surgery and drugs," he said.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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