Cancer Alliance Queensland (CAQ)


Cancer Alliance Queensland brings together Cancer Control Safety and Quality Partnership (The Partnership), Queensland Cancer Control Analysis Team (QCCAT) and the Queensland Cancer Register (QCR).

Together with the support of the Department of Health, Metro South Hospital and Health Service and in partnership with clinicians, health facilities (public and private) and external organisations, we support and promote clinician led improvement of cancer services in Queensland.

Big data in Queensland - background

In 2004 a small group of clinicians and service improvement enthusiasts established what is now known at the Cancer Alliance Queensland, to evaluate cancer care delivery and outcomes. We were guided by the views of clinicians, patients and others in designing the program, especially the need for information to answer the challenging clinical questions.

Not unique to the cancer population health information about individual patients is frequently stored in a number of different and inaccessible silos across hospital systems. Even within a single provider, data can sit in different departmental systems. Our first move was to use digital technology to bring together the siloes. Over 70 discrete systems and data sources have been brought together into the Qld Oncology Repository (QOR).

QOR contains billions of pieces of information relating to over 8 million Queenslanders, of whom one million have a diagnosis of cancer – this is Queensland’s big data cancer platform.

In Qld, and for CAQ the reason for engaging with big data remains clinician led service improvement. While QOR is a critical component, the real value is the ecosystem - a collection of clinical care, systems, tools, research, analytics - connecting clinicians, facilities, and data sources through our multisided platform.

The data ecosystem is:

  • Integrated – a unified platform combining systems and BIG data pre-populated with clinical information
  • Collaborative – co-designed with clinicians for clinical management, research and audit
  • Supported and sustainable – supported by CAQ’s clinical and data experts, it is enduring with no need to discard data after the project ends
  • Patient focussed – building a ‘whole of life’ rich picture of each patient’s information, to enable cancer patients to benefit from great research
  • Secure and trusted – built and operates within a secure environment with rigorous governance

Access to this ecosystem allows researchers, clinicians, hospitals, governments, and policy makers
clear processes for monitoring cancer care and service improvement, research, and outcomes for Queenslanders with cancer.


QOR data is managed under a governance framework which consists of two paths – a legislative model and an ethical (HREC) model depending on the use and source of the data.

The Partnership, a quality assurance committee (QAC), operates under Queensland legislation Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 ss.81-92 & Hospital and Health Boards Regulation 2012 ss.15-22, and encourages participation in quality assurance activities which allow QACs to function effectively by providing protections, imposing duties of confidentiality and sets out obligations of the committee.

All human research is conducted under relevant HREC and Public Health Act legislation.

For further information about CAQ