A new online registry launched by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the non-profit hospital and academic health science institution in Los Angeles, US, is looking to boost women’s participation in oncology clinical research.

The research for her registry, a joint initiative between the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center and the Cardio-Oncology Program, has set a goal of logging information on at least 2,000 women with or without a history of breast or gynaecologic cancer.

The plan is for approved investigators to review the accumulated data and identify opportunities to improve care. The registry will also help to identify subjects who may be eligible for research, including large-scale epidemiological studies, cancer screening studies, focus groups and clinical trials.

Historically, relatively few women have participated in clinical research, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center noted. As a result, “the medical science community has often ignored biological differences between men and women”.

Ultimately the new registry may help researchers to understand how cancers develop and reatments exert their effects, “but we need patients unaffected by cancer to compare to”, pointed out Dr Catherine Dang, co-principal investigator of the research for her registry and associate director of the Wasserman Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Program.

“Without this group, we can’t be clear about what exposures, experiences or other factors might contribute to the research question we are trying to ask,” Dang added.