SOS Oncology site gets ready for new tele-teaching projects

Antwerp 08 May 2000At the Euromedia 2000 Conference, Dr. Lorenzo Motta from the Italian National Cancer Institute which is hosted at the University of Genova, presented the SOS Oncology Web site. The SOS "Sustaining Oncology Studies" server has been developed successfully out of the telematics service, generated as SOS Europe in 1994, to support the European cancer research community. Today, the SOS server's major objective is to function as a central point of contact in the tumour-related medical area for doctors, clinicians, researchers, PhD students, nurses and technicians. To this aim, a new project on tele-teaching will be set up which will be based on ADSL or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology.

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The SOS server comprises three different but complementary web sections, being SOS Europe, SOS Italia, and the Break IT project. The SOS Europe service provides information on European funding programmes and project proposal calls for oncology research; training grants; congress and symposia news; fellowships; and on-line publications and resources. SOS Italia is the national equivalent of SOS Europe. In co-operation with the network of Italian Comprehensive Cancer Centres, SOS Italia strives at being formally recognised by the Italian Ministry of Health as a focal point for co-ordination of all Web-based cancer information and services which are requested by the Italian oncology research community. SOS Italia also offers a Virtual Cancer Library.

In the course of this year, a new project will be launched under the name of SOS Tumori. The goal is to provide an Italian Cancer Help Line where people will find a user-friendly tool to answer specific questions on tumour-related issues. To this purpose, the service will rely on Java, Javascript and DHTML technology, and support a green telephone number. The Break IT project on breast cancer has come to an end in 1999. It will not remain for long on the SOS server anymore since the initiative amounted in a CD-ROM, issued in 5 European languages, for vendors to distribute as an educational tool among medical staff involved in telepathology and breast cancer in particular.

In April 1999, the accumulated number of hits for the SOS server climbed to 16.000. In one year's time, the total amount has doubled to approximately 33.000 hits. For a Web site focusing on a specialised topic such as oncology, this is a very good result, as stated by Dr. Motta. The SOS staff also delivers information via e-mail and receives some 25 to 30 requests a day. Thanks to the innovative ADSL technology, tele-teaching and the possibility of learning via the Web will become a vivid reality for the SOS server users in the very near future. A series of projects is now ready to start and SOS will be a partner in one of them.

More details on the service are available at the home page of the SOS server. For information about the Break IT project, please read the January 1998 VMW article WebCDs and Push technologies lined up against breast cancer to try and "Break IT".


Leslie Versweyveld

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