National Melanoma Database Project

Melanoma Focus set up the Database project in 2012. The aim was to collect data on melanoma and other skin cancers, enabling individual NHS centres to plan and audit their services while performing research individually or in collaboration with other participating centres. There was an excellent presentation at the Melanoma Focus Regional Meeting in Cambridge in 2018 using data from the database and papers published by individual centres.

However establishing and supporting large-scale IT projects outside the NHS remit is extremely challenging. Whilst this has worked very well in some centres, others have struggled to recruit people to enter data and have therefore been unable to engage fully with the project. This has meant that the quality of the information collected has been patchy. Nonetheless the data captured so far totals more than 10,000 records of reasonable quality but now needing various degrees of enhancement.

Following a series of meetings over the past few months to review the datasets and consider the future of the project, Melanoma Focus has decided to concentrate on producing results based on the data already captured. Further centres will no longer be recruited into the project under Melanoma Focus auspices. However they may continue to access the database via the software provider: for further information, contact
Melanoma Focus has formed a subgroup under Dr Samra Turajlic (Royal Marsden Hospital and Francis Crick Institute) to assess the data and produce scientific publications. In many cases the records require additional data and we are seeking support from centres in achieving this enhancement.

We would like to express our gratitude to all involved in this project, particularly Dr Katharine Acland and Michael Cox.