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Survey Finds NCI's caBIG Fails to Impress Europe's Researchers

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The National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid Infrastructure hasn’t had much of an impact in Europe, according to a report from the European Association for Cancer Research that sought to identify caBIG's penetration in European laboratories.

EACR based its conclusions on the results from an online survey that was sent out in January to 6,396 researchers who call Europe home.

The survey was part of the Eurocancercoms project, which explores issues surrounding communication and dissemination of cancer information across Europe.

In the survey, researchers were asked how often they used caBIG's tools and to rate them.

Based on answers from 746 respondents — a response rate of 11.94 percent — EACR reported that between 84 percent and 96 percent of European researchers never use the caBIG tools.

The report suggests some possible reasons for caBIG's lackluster performance in Europe.

For example, the report suggests that because caBIG's software is designed for use alongside other applications in the caBIG infrastructure, some researchers may be put off since they don't have compatible software or the know-how to adapt the tools into their systems.

Furthermore, caBIG's integration into the US research system has been accompanied by promotion, support, and subsidies for institutes and labs; European research groups, on the other hand, don’t have a similar support system, EACR said.

EACR's findings are published online in ecancermedicalscience, an open access journal for clinical oncology that’s run by the European Institute of Oncology and the Organization of European Cancer Institutes.

NCI representatives could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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