SITE VISIT: Know Thine Enemy

Science  17 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5435, pp. 1815a
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5435.1815a

Many people stricken with cancer gird themselves for battle with the nation's number two killer by first learning as much as they can about the disease. Perhaps the largest source on the Web for cancer info—from basic facts to clinical trial results—is Oncolink, a 5-year-old Web site at the University of Pennsylvania.

Aimed primarily at patients and their doctors, the backgrounders, news digests, and abstracts here are also meant to help clinicians and other researchers keep up on the latest studies and drug approvals. For example, the site gets a feed from Reuters on new cancer research, and its own editors—mostly Penn faculty—contribute coverage of the American Society of Clinical Oncology meetings. Journals Scan is a physician-written summary of the latest papers in such publications as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Visitors can sign up for numerous e-mail listservs, on topics such as angiogenesis and molecular biology. Digging deeper into the data trove, specialized pages cover more specific topics, such as the accuracy of cancer info on the Web, vaccine therapies, and the angiogenesis drugs that caused a hubbub last year.

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