NICE announces launch of a new database to inform the prioritisation of European cancer research


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has launched a new database that will help with the identification and prioritisation of future cancer research across Europe.

The Database of Cancer Uncertainties has been developed through the Coordination of Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines in Europe initiative. CoCanCPG is a consortium of 16 institutional partners from 11 countries and is funded by the European Commission.

Uncertainties around the evidence base used in guideline development are common, indeed, it is rare that all aspects of the management of a condition are supported by high-quality research evidence. In some circumstances, the research has not been done and even where it has been done it may be methodologically flawed or inconclusive.

The cancer uncertainties database will provide a tool to bring these uncertainties together and link into other initiatives such as the UK’s Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments – DUETs. The uncertainties will be prioritised with input from clinicians, patients, funders and researchers. The prioritised uncertainties can then be promoted to research funders and researchers across the EU. Tracking mechanisms will be developed to avoid duplication of effort and highlight relevant clinical trials that patients can participate in. The co-ordination will help to ensure that the available research funds are spent against identified priorities.