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Cancer Data capture software IP donated in goodwill gesture

Tuesday 23 October, 2007

Software that captures data for gynaecological tumours developed for use at the Royal Woman's Hospital has been donated to the Cancer Council Victoria as goodwill gesture by the developers.

The application called CONTRO was signed over to The Cancer Council Victoria today by developer, Thunderbird Software. CONTRO is a unique computer database application, which supports the capture and analysis of diagnostic, treatment and follow up information throughout the cancer patient's care.

CONTRO will be used for the Gynaecology Oncology Project (GOP), which is to expand on an existing clinical cancer data capture trial for gynaecological tumours operating at the Royal Womens Hospital (RWH). GeMMA, which is the gynaecological version of CONTRO, has been operational at RWH since 2000 and has been used to report on the current clinical cancer data capture trial which has been running for 18 months at RWH.

CONTRO will be installed at a further three metropolitan gynaecological cancer treatment centres being Monash Medical Centre, Freemasons and Mercy Hospitals.

Clinical cancer data capture will occur at the relevant treatment centres and agreed data elements will be transferred to the population based cancer registry.

The centres will also have the capacity to use GeMMA beyond the data requirements as specified within GOP. Clinicians at those centres will be able to use CONTRO/GeMMA as a clinical management tool.

GeMMA is the version of the software that has been developed to manage gynaecological cancer information.

With gynaecological cancer diagnosed in over 1000 Victorian women per year there is a need too improve data collection and analysis for this population.

Ms Helen Farrugia, Director of Information Systems at the Cancer Council Victoria, said the software has the flexibility to be adapted for all streams of cancer, with another version for breast cancer - RUTH - currently in development.

"This will result in better data management. As a result, our yearly statistics will be more detailed than previous years," said Ms Farrugia.

Ms Farrugia said that with over 24,000 Victorians being diagnosed with cancer each year there is a desperate need of a useful patient management tool that allows and encourages data to be entered as events occur.

"Currently, there are no databases in place at hospitals that can track this type of information. CONTRO allows oncologists, pharmacists, nurses and social workers to record patient information from the time of diagnosis and then track their treatment regime, outcomes and reviews," said Ms Farrugia.

The CONTRO database has been developed primarily with philanthropic funding.

The Cancer Council Victoria will provide full training and support to any hospital that wishes to install CONTRO software.

Available for Interview:
Ms Helen Farrugia
Professor David Hill

Please contact Belinda Goldfinch, Media and Communications Officer at The Cancer Council Victoria to arrange interviews.

Belinda Goldfinch 0419 552719