Erfahrungen Mit Einem Klinischen Krebsregister
This paper offers a critical review of a clinical cancer register in the University of Düsseldorf which has been built up since 1977 using a centralized concept for data manangement. The activities developed according to the objectives of the Federal Health Research Programme aimed at the better transfer of scientific knowledge to medical practice and at the improvement of medical care in cancer patients in particular.
Important goals of this clinical cancer register are: to include all cancer patients of all departments of the University Hospital, to support the organization of patient follow-up and hence, to improve early detection of tumour relapse, and to provide a data base for clinical research.
The up-to-now experience suggests a provisional cost-benefit analysis. Motivation of the clinicians to follow a standardized recording of cancer patients is still a problem. Certainly, additional personnel is needed to run a comprehensive clinical cancer register. Improvement in patient follow-up has resulted from better communication with practising physicians. The use of the cancer register for clinical and research purposes is limited. The data confirm facts already known in the litterature. In some instances, they may help to define research topics which have to be set out by referring to additional data in the patient records. The use of the register for epidemiological research is limited because of its incompleteness.
In the era of personal computers in data processing, the centralized concept of the register should also be reconsidered.
In spite of all this criticism, the author considers that a cancer register is indispensable for the activity of a cancer centre.
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