Oncological translational research in the Spanish national health system: the INTRO study.
Caballero C., Jantus-Lewintre E., Carrato A., García-Foncillas J., Gascón P., Blasco A., Moreno-Nogueira JA., Guillem V., López R., Codes M., Antón A., Díaz-Rubio E., Camps C.
ObjectivesUnder the auspices of the Foundation for Excellence and Quality in Oncology (ECO), the Translational Research in Oncology Medical Services Study (INTRO) was conducted with the aim of describing the current state of, and future expectations for translational cancer research in Spanish medical centres. The first step in the investigation was intended to analyse the current condition of the national Medical Oncology Services network by examining different aspects of the oncology research field.MethodsA descriptive and observational multicentre study was performed at a statewide level; information was collected by surveying a cross-section of all those responsible for Medical Oncology Services in Spain.ResultsThe survey was completed by key informants, who were selected independently by each service, between September 2010 and April 2011. We were able to gather comprehensive data from a total of 27 Spanish hospitals. These data enabled us to describe the allocation of human and material resources devoted to clinical and translational research across the Medical Oncology Services and to describe the organisational and functional components of these services and units. These data included information pertaining to the activities developed, their funding sources, and their functional dependence on other internal or external bodies. Finally, we explored the degree of dissemination and use of some specific techniques used for the genetic diagnosis of cancer, which have recently been introduced in Medical Oncology within the Spanish healthcare system.ConclusionsA wide range of variability exists between different oncology services in Spanish hospitals. Time should be spent reflecting on the need and opportunities for improvement in the development of translational research within the field of oncology.