Belfast research produces new software tool for cancer staging data collection

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Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have launched a software tool that collects and compares cancer staging data around the world.

A new software tool for capturing global cancer data has been developed at Queen’s University in Belfast.

CanStaging⁺ is a user-friendly tool that can record and compare cancer data using streamlined staging software that leverages new digital technology.

It was developed by researchers at Queen’s with the Cancer Registry of Northern Ireland (NICR), the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the International Union for Cancer Control (UICC).

Cancer staging refers to the extent of the cancer’s spread at the time of diagnosis, and is a crucial factor in determining the level of care and clinical intervention required by each patient.

Collecting population-level staging data can provide health systems with information on how to optimize their cancer management campaigns. It is currently performed by population-based cancer registries, but due to the large variation in the data collected, it can be difficult to compare results accurately to develop consistent global strategies.

According to Dr Anna Gavin of the NICR Center for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast who led the work, the tool is urgently needed.

“We urgently need a global solution to increase the quantity and consistency of international staging. I am delighted that this tool brings us much closer to those gaps by enabling a holistic and reliable approach, ”said Gavin.

She added, “Cancer staging is critical for monitoring and evaluating cancer control outcomes and activities. Almost half of the registers in Latin America and the Caribbean (52 pc) report information on classification compared to 96 pc of the registers in North America and Europe. “

And Isabelle Soerjomataram, deputy head of the Cancer Surveillance branch at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said the Covid-19 pandemic had disrupted the ability of health systems to provide care to cancer patients.

Soerjomataram said: “It is vitally important to resume cancer control activities, including early diagnosis, population cancer screening, prompt treatment, ongoing surveillance, and notification of staging. Cancer.”

The CanStaging⁺ tool, which was partially funded by the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership, is free for cancer registries around the world.

An earlier version of the tool was launched in 2005 and attracted users from 55 countries.

The updated version includes essential information that will help developing countries measure the stage of the disease from the limited information available, more cancer sites and guidelines on data collection to allow better estimates of the reasons for the disease. international differences in survival.

It can be downloaded for offline use and training will be provided.

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