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First batch of real-world data from prostate cancer studies added to big data platform

Partners in the PIONEER project have uploaded datasets from major studies, and are calling on others to do the same.

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Two of the most well-known European datasets have been uploaded to the platform. Image from the public domain.

The first datasets have been added to the PIONEER big data platform, a major milestone for the IMI project. The researchers want to use real-world data from well-known prostate cancer studies to answer some vital questions about the disease. The first question they hope the data will help answer concerns the kind of variables that affect the prognosis for prostate cancer patients.

Analytics will be run over the lifetime of the project to account for new and updated datasets. Both the OMOP/OHDSI platform for population-based registries and epidemiological research and the PIONEER omics analysis platform for cohort and clinical trial data were set up by The Hyve, a partner in the project.

The datasets

Erasmus University Medical Centre uploaded two of the most well-known European datasets to the platform:  the Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance (PRIAS) study, which started in 2006, has become the biggest active surveillance study in the world with more than 8,000 patients from 120 centres in 18 countries. The study aims to provide evidence-based recommendations on how to select and follow men with low-risk prostate cancer on active surveillance.

The second dataset comes from the European Randomised study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), which was initiated in 1993 to investigate the effect of regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening on prostate cancer mortality. It’s the largest ever randomised study on screening for prostate cancer, with 184,000 men in eight countries, and more than 42,000 people in the Dutch patient cohort from Erasmus MC.

The second wave of data is ready to be added to the platform in the form of two comprehensive Swedish datasets contributed by Lund University, also a PIONEER partner. The Malmö Preventative Project is a 16-year screening study of the middle-aged population of Malmö and includes 22,444 men; the Malmö Diet Cancer dataset, an ongoing prospective cohort study that includes 53,000 participants, of which 42% are male. The aim of the study is to clarify whether diet is associated with certain forms of cancer while considering other lifestyle factors.

The two datasets will be followed by more; other partners are poised to add another 22 anonymised datasets to the platform, and PIONEER hope that other data custodians, both private and public, will be encouraged to contribute. The ultimate aim is to improve the health and social care for all prostate cancer patients and their families.

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