DATA-CAN aims to improve cancer health outcomes
University of Exeter joins national cancer health data research hub
The University of Exeter has signed up as an associate partner to DATA-CAN: The Health Data Research Hub for Cancer.
DATA-CAN is a UK-wide partnership which aims to improve care and outcomes for people with cancer by making high quality health data more accessible for cancer researchers and health professionals.
Through its College of Medicine and Health, the University of Exeter brings a wealth of cancer research expertise, as well as data science knowledge and experience to the DATA-CAN partnership. Work from the Exeter team, which uses information from GP records to generate evidence to improve cancer diagnosis, has won the overall RCGP Research paper of the year twice, and been the cancer category winner several other times.
The associate partnership between DATA-CAN and the University of Exeter will include contributing real-time cancer data from the NHS in the south west of England to DATA-CAN’s ongoing work to help NHS cancer services respond to the effects of the Covid-19 emergency on cancer patients. The partnership will also include a real-world-data analysis project involving primary care and linking the Genomics Medicine Service Alliance in the south west and University College London with the DATA-CAN partners.
In the UK, over 400,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year, with one in two people facing a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. A lot of health data about each and every one of us is collected, but this data is not always quick and easy for researchers to find, access and analyse.
Better access to quality health data can help researchers develop improved cancer treatments, support the NHS to make positive changes to cancer services and also give patients faster access to clinical trials. Improving access to cancer data for research is crucial to improving cancer services and outcomes for cancer patients.
DATA-CAN is transforming the ability of researchers to use high-quality cancer data, while ensuring all data is held securely and patients can decide how their data might be used. It is one of eight Health Data Research hubs across the UK to speed up research for new medicines and treatments, support quicker diagnoses and potentially save lives.
Chrissie Thirlwell, Mireille Gillings Professor of Cancer Genomics at the University of Exeter, said:“Through becoming a parner of DATA-CAN there are huge opportunities to improve cancer research, diagnosis and treatment by improving access to cancer related data, making it more accessible to researchers and healthcare professionals, with patient permission. We’re delighted to be part of this exciting partnership, and I look forward to seeing meaningful benefits for patients in this crucial area.”
Willie Hamilton, Professor of Primary Care Diagnostics at the University of Exeter, said “This is an exciting step for us. We have long used routine data to answer crucial clinical questions in cancer. The partnership with DATA-CAN broadens and deepens this, increasing our ability to answer questions that matter to patients.”
DATA-CAN Director Dr Charlie Davie of UCLPartners said: “I’m delighted to welcome the University of Exeter to the DATA-CAN family as an associate partner. They bring a wealth of experience in cancer research and data science. Initially formed by six founding partners, DATA-CAN has ambitious plans to expand and I hope that Exeter will be the first of more associate partners to help us realise our aim of unlocking the power of cancer data to improve patient care.”
Date: 16 March 2021