ACARCinom is creating the first Australia-wide registry of animal cancer occurrences, collecting standardised data from pathology labs and universities in real-time.

Cancer is a major cause of death in animals and humans. Cancer data is needed to provide clinical and epidemiological evidence for evaluating the efficacy of current treatment programs and help drive research and development of intervention priorities.

While cancer registries are commonplace in human medicine, veterinary cancer registries have been sporadic, short-lived and uncoordinated. This project will create a national data asset comprising de-identified cancer records from major commercial and university-based veterinary pathology laboratories through a harmonised companion animal cancer registry.

The project will focus on companion animal cancers in dogs and cats. It will generate a sustainable, unified, integrated and accessible data asset for identifying patterns and trends in animal and human cancers, as well as quantifying the role of predisposing risk factors.

ACARCinom is supported by the ARDC through the Australian Data Partnerships program, which is helping to establish new data collections or improve existing ones.

Start date 1 January 2021
Expected completion date 30 June 2023
Investment by ARDC $391,097
Lead node
1 Data integration
Automated system for data capture developed and veterinary cancer data transferred to a central repository.
2 Data standardisation
Standardisation of the data processing workflow, classification and coding.
3 Data access
Web interface developed for researchers to use the ACARCinom database.

Core features

Integration and harmonisation
ACARCinom will enable secure interconnectivity of otherwise disjointed databases covering the entire asset of veterinary cancer data in Australia.
FAIR access
Transformed and deidentified data will be accessible through an authenticated web interface.

Who is this project for?

  • Cancer research organisations
  • Researchers
  • Policy-makers and government
  • Veterinary clinicians
  • Industry

What does this project enable?

ACARCinom will provide a formal mechanism for promoting uniformity of collection, classification and collection of cancer data in companion animals across Australia.

Companion animals are sentinels of certain human cancers of environmental origin, and analysis of the ACARCinom data asset can point to shared cancer hot-spots and uncover associated predisposing environmental risk factors for cancers in animals and humans. Users of this data asset will be able to access cancer data from animals and humans and conduct research aiming at cancer risk mapping and a ranking of predisposing risk factors for cancers in humans and animals.

University of QueenslandVisit
University of SydneyVisit
James Cook UniversityVisit
Gribbles Veterinary PathologyVisit
University of AdelaideVisit
Murdoch UniversityVisit