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IT for Oncologists
August 1, 2014   
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A team of doctors and computer gurus from Warsaw led by Iwona Ługowska, of the Institute of Oncology in Warsaw, is working to create a special information technology system for cancer specialists.

The system is designed to improve treatment offered to patients suffering from gastrointestinal cancer in line with the latest recommendations of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Doctors will enter basic information about a patient and the system will advise them of ESMO recommendations as applicable to a specific clinical case.

There is a growing tendency in modern oncology to adapt treatment to the individual being treated. This makes it possible to draw conclusions about the course of the disease and decide what drugs would work best for a given patient. In the course of treatment, doctors follow recommendations resulting from the latest research results.

Ługowska treats patients with skin cancer and those with tumors of the connective tissue. She also conducts research work at the Mother and Child Institute in Warsaw. The IT project she is managing will take two years to complete. In the first eight months, the project team created a prototype of the system. At the moment, the researchers are working on interfaces and databases for the system.

The researchers still have to perform validation tests, including clinical trials with the participation of doctors and patients. The system will enable doctors to not only be kept informed about the latest cancer treatment recommendations but also update the data on their own if recommendations for a given type of tumor change. If the results are satisfactory, the system will be expanded to include other types of tumors, the researchers say.

In addition to Ługowska, the project team includes Sławomir Falkowski and Anna Klimczak from the Institute of Oncology in Warsaw as well as Prof. Piotr Rutkowski and Prof. Jean-Yves Blay from Lyon in France, who heads a group of European Society for Medical Oncology experts responsible for issuing clinical recommendations. The researchers are supported by a team of IT experts led by Prof. Henryk Rybiński from the Warsaw University of Technology.

Karolina Olszewska
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