Europeans Participate in PDQ Board Meeting, Plan New START Database

April 1, 1996

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).

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

In an interview, Susan M. Hubbard, RN, MPA, director of the InternationalCancer Information Center (ICIC), the NCI agency responsible formaintaining PDQ (Physician Data Query), explained how the Milanmeeting came about.

"About a year ago," she said, "Professor J. GordonMcVie, president of EORTC, and Dr. Alberta Costa, director ofthe European School of Oncology, attended a PDQ board meetingin the US. They suggested that we hold one of our meetings inEurope to demonstrate to European oncologists how PDQ is updatedand 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 boardmembers in discussing the scientific publications on the agenda,while other European guests observed.

About 170 European clinical oncolo-gists will review informationto be made available on START, the EIO has announced. The computerizeddatabase should be fully operational by the beginning of 1998.Its main purpose is to provide evidence-based, state-of-the-artdata about cancer treatment options. It will be designed to takeinto consideration the different cultural and treatment approachesused throughout Europe.