START Activity

Chairperson

Lisa Licitra

 
 
 
START stands for “State-of-the-Art Oncology in Europe”. In fact, it is meant to be an online data base on state-of-the-art knowledge about cancer diagnostics and treatment, with a European perspective. This means that the statements on main clinical “options” are codified and accompanied by a codified “levels of evidence” and “type of basis”, according to a classification originally devised (Figure 1). The background has been detailed in the literature (Ann. Oncol. 1999; 10: 769-774).
 
START is an independent Program. It was established in 1995 within the ESO. As from September 2002, it is one of the services also supported by Alleanza Contro il Cancro (“Alliance Against Cancer” - ACC), the Italian cancer network, under the auspices of the Italian Health Ministry. Formally, START is a data base, freely accessible on the Internet at startoncology.net. It contains chapters on single human malignant neoplasms, as well as some chapters on cancer-related topics (antiemetic therapy, pain therapy, and more). Original chapters are written in English, subsequently translated into Italian and eventually adapted (only in Italian) for patients and non professionals in general.
 

THE START WEBSITE

Formally, START is a database, freely accessible on Internet containing chapters on single human malignant neoplasms, as well as some chapters on cancer-releted topics.
 
Original chapters are written in English, subsequently translated into Italian and eventually adapted (only in Italian) for patients and non-professionals, in general. The website is visited every month by a mean of 35.000 Internet Users. The contribuitors are selected among the most important Experts through Europe: over 200 professionals have already joined START by serving as Editors, Authors, Reviewers and Consultants.
 

START CHAPTER CYCLE

Each START chapter is a final result of an internal collaborative effort. The first draft of the chapter should reflect an evidence-based approach. The chapter is subsequently submitted to the Reviewer/s (European top expert in the specific field). After the reviewing process (a linguistic revision is also required), the chapter is finally published on-line; all the Authors and Reviewers, besides the Editors. is assembled by the chapter Editor, based on contributes of the selected Authors. If necessary, an Associated Editor may also be appointed, among European top experts. The first draft of the chapter should reflect an evidence-based approach. The chapter is subsequently submitted to the Reviewer/s (European top expert in the specific field). After the reviewing process (a linguistic revision is also required), the chapter is finally published on-line; all the Authors and Reviewers, besides the Editors.
 

START-OECI THE EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

START chapters are aimed at reflecting the “state of the art” of diagnosis and treatment in Europe, with a particular overlooking the so-called “grey zone” besides standard and investigational options. Although START is based in Italy, its European perspective allowed the Program establishing important links with other European Institutions and Projects. In 2009 START was acknowledged as operative instrument of OECI for the accomplishment of recommendations on diagnosis and treatment on cancer.
 
 
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