Melanoma Database Project

Melanoma is the UK’s fastest-growing cancer, yet there is still a lack of basic clinical information about the disease, including stage distribution and equity of access to treatments. Such deficiencies hinder the development of research and treatment.

Melanoma Focus’s Database Project was set up to improve data collection for melanoma and other skin cancers. Each Hospital Trust participating in the project will collect a wide range of standardised data – both current and historical – about their patients. This can then be interrogated and used for the benefit of their skin cancer service. The dataset will be anonymised and collated on a central database, to be used for audit and research under the oversight of Melanoma Focus. The charity is co-operating with the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) to ensure the data collected conforms, as a minimum, with the NCIN’s Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD) standard for cancer reporting for NHS England.

The Melanoma Database Project is making good progress in forming partnerships with NHS Hospital Trusts across the country. Data collection began in mid-2013 and two Trusts have begun work on the project, with many thousand patient records already on the system. Meanwhile several other Trusts are about to go live or are in the set-up phase.