Primary Care News, Secondary Care

DATA-CAN to transform how cancer clinical data can be used

£4.7m has been pledged for DATA-CAN, the Health Data Research Hub for Cancer announced this month, one of 7 new data hubs launched.

The DATA-CAN initiative aims to transform how cancer clinical data across the UK can be used to improve patient care, diagnose the disease earlier, and enable people to access innovative new medicines, potentially contributing to saving the lives of 30,000 cancer patients a year.

The announcement stated “One in two people will get cancer during their lifetime. Every year, almost 400,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK, and cancer costs the NHS £7bn annually.”

DATA-CAN will work with patients across the UK to bring their clinical data together and use this data to help develop improved cancer treatments, give patients faster access to clinical trials, and understand how NHS cancer services can be improved. The Hub will be supported by patients, charities, clinicians, academic and industry-based researchers and innovators, and will involve cancer hospitals across the UK.

It aims to transform 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.

DATA-CAN Director Dr Charlie Davie of UCLPartners said“Working across all four nations of the United Kingdom, DATA-CAN is a unique partnership of NHS organisations, patients, charities, academia and industry working together to improve cancer care by harnessing anonymous clinical and genetic data to provide cancer patients with faster access to clinical trials, and to enable the development of new and improved medicines and treatment approaches.”

Jacqui Gath, Cancer survivor and patient advocate (ICPV/YHCRP) said “Patients want their data to be used to improve care. In fact they’re often surprised it’s not used already. The work of the Hub and the new research it engenders will bring hope to the people who are diagnosed every year with this awful disease. One in two people will get cancer in their lifetimes and this Hub offers the hope and opportunity of saving 30,000 lives a year.”

Professor Geoff Hall from Leeds Cancer Centre and the University of Leeds, the clinical lead and deputy director of the project, said “This project will help empower the NHS to use data and analytics to optimise care for patients, while supporting universities and companies who work with us to discover and develop new treatments.”

“A key focus of the hub will be to support the development and delivery of clinical trials and to identify which trials are suitable for individual patients. By doing so we will ensure patients have access to new, potentially life-saving treatments.”

The hubs are part of a four-year £37 million investment from the Government Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), led by UK Research and Innovation, to create a UK-wide capability for the safe and responsible use of health-related data on a large scale.