NHS cancer database will be 'game changing'

In collaboration with the Press Association

Millions of patient records with details about individual cancer treatments have been compiled into a single database for the first time in a bid to help doctors save lives.

The new database will form the biggest cancer registration service in the world and will give cancer specialists across the country instant access to detailed clinical data, helping them to make informed decisions on how to treat patients.

The record, created by the Cancer Registration Service at Public Health England, is announced at the Cancer Outcome Conference in Brighton today, The Times reported.

Jem Rashbass, who leads the Cancer Registration Service, told the paper: "This is game changing.

"In effect, every cancer patient has a rare disease that is different in some way from another cancer.

"This allowed us to carry out refined searched to see how other tumours have responded to identify the optimum treatment as early as possible."

The new service has collected details on all 350,000 cancers affecting people living in England, as well as 11 million historical records dating back 30 years.

It has taken five years to develop and receives monthly data from every NHS Trust.

Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK's head of policy development, said: the database was "great news".

"It means we have all the UK's cancer information in one place, making us well equipped to provide the highest quality care for every cancer patient.

"It'll be easier and quicker to further cancer research, and will speed up work to deliver personalised cancer medicine to patients in the future," she added.

Copyright Press Association 2013