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Europeans Participate in PDQ Board Meeting, Plan New START Database

Europeans Participate in PDQ Board Meeting, Plan New START Database

BETHESDA, Md--The PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board held its March meeting in Milan, Italy, so that an international audience could observe how the board reviews recently published literature to determine if changes should be made in the information in PDQ. The experience is expected to aid the European oncology community in developing its own database, known as START (State-of-the-Art Oncology in Europe).

In an interview, Susan M. Hubbard, RN, MPA, director of the International Cancer Information Center (ICIC), the NCI agency responsible for maintaining PDQ (Physician Data Query), explained how the Milan meeting came about.

"About a year ago," she said, "Professor J. Gordon McVie, president of EORTC, and Dr. Alberta Costa, director of the European School of Oncology, attended a PDQ board meeting in the US. They suggested that we hold one of our meetings in Europe to demonstrate to European oncologists how PDQ is updated and to invite some of the leading investigators to participate."

Cancer specialists identified by the European Institute of Oncology (EIO) in Milan and the EORTC were invited to join the US board members in discussing the scientific publications on the agenda, while other European guests observed.

About 170 European clinical oncolo-gists will review information to be made available on START, the EIO has announced. The computerized database should be fully operational by the beginning of 1998. Its main purpose is to provide evidence-based, state-of-the-art data about cancer treatment options. It will be designed to take into consideration the different cultural and treatment approaches used throughout Europe.

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