Melanoma Research Database (MRD2)

Melanoma Research Database (MRD2)

In 1968 Professor Gerry Milton of the Sydney Melanoma Unit (SMU) was trying to better understand the disease. He recruited Dr Helen Shaw to collect all the records of melanoma patients treated at Sydney Hospital since 1957 and put them together in an organised way. The benefits were clear immediately and the SMU committed to maintaining Dr Shaw’s system and continue keeping their patients record.

Always forward thinking, the Unit (now known as MIA) soon decided to embrace the “high technology” of the day and converted the entire catalogue over to punchcards and a database was born. Over the years the database has gone through big technologic leaps while always maintaining the collection of new patient records.

The Melanoma Research Database recently made another big leap forward. It was updated to accommodate the cataloging of data related to new targeted therapy discoveries and brought about new efficiency to the collection of investigation of data.

Now known as the MRD2, it has become the biggest database of its kind the world, with over 41,000 records and several staff members, including IT specialists and clinical data managers, dedicated to its refinement, preservation and cultivation.

The MRD2 is a resource used to identify and extract specific sub-sets of information for research projects related to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment outcomes in melanoma patients. It enables us to cross-examine information and extract more complex data than ever  before. The knowledge gained from these studies assists in the management of melanoma patients around the world.

All patient information at MIA is treated confidentially. Data is entered into the MRD2 after a patient has provided consent, and only de-identified information is used in our research. We are grateful to all of our patients who have contributed to this invaluable resource.