Cancer Research UK joins UK Health Data Research Alliance to support innovation against cancer

Cancer Research UK has joined the UK Health Data Research Alliance to support research and innovation in the discovery, prevention, detection and treatment of cancer through use of health data.

70 health and research organisations make up the UK Health Data Research Alliance, working together to create consistent standards, create more transparency on available datasets, and shape regulations on ethical use of health data for research and innovation at scale. All members work to develop best practice in areas such as privacy, transparency, public engagement, inclusivity and governance.

As part of its membership of the Alliance, Cancer Research UK and their innovation engine Cancer Research Horizons will make information on their datasets available on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway.

The first of this datasets is the OPTIMAM database, containing large numbers of mammography images collected from the National Breast Screen network, which can be used to support research into the early detection of breast cancer.

“Last week we launched our new research data strategy, working with people affected by cancer to ensure that we maximise the benefit of research data to improve patient outcomes,” said Doctor Catherine Elliot, Director of Research at Cancer Research UK. “Joining the Health Data Research UK Alliance will help us share best practice, tackle common challenges and foster collaboration in aid of the goals we all share, which is to make sure that data are best used to support quality research so we can drive forward breakthroughs for patients.”

Doctor Paola Quattroni, Head of Alliance Strategy & Engagement at Health Data Research UK, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the largest charitable funder of cancer research in the world to the UK Health Data Research Alliance. This is the beginning of a long-lasting and valuable partnership that will bring together the cancer research community, Alliance members and Health Data Research UK in a joint effort to accelerate improvements to people’s lives through trustworthy use of health-relevant data.”