In May, 2007, The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR), the iBarthi Foundation, Capital Technology and Information Systems (CTIS), NCI and several universities first developed the concept of Open Education Resources for Cancer (OERC). Subsequent meetings with representatives of the Hewlett Foundation were followed up with a June 2008 Steering Committee meeting at ASCO in Chicago; this meeting was attended by principals of INCTR, NCI, iBharti Foundation, ESMO, CaBIG, and other organizations (some of which no longer exist). This meeting affirmed the need for, and value of, the establishment of an open web-based repository of oncology educational materials, freely available to medical educators, trainees and health care providers.


The purpose of OERC is to create and make available to developing countries (at no cost to the user) a central access point for knowledge sharing in the realm of education for cancer control, diagnosis, treatment, care and prevention. The access would be directed at education of medical and nursing students, trainees, physicians, nurses, as well as caregivers and patients. This repository of educational materials would include lectures on power points and videos, cancer training curricula, clinical and translational research information to be gathered from contributing partners around the world and include universities, cancer centers, and research institutions. This expanded knowledge base is intended to increase the capacity for education of physicians, nurses and medical institutions hard pressed for resources to meet the challenges of cancer control and treatment of cancer patients, even in remote sites of the developing world.

OERC Mission Statement

Ø To enhance knowledge sharing between countries on cancer control strategies


Ø To enhance the capacities of physicians, and care givers in developing countries to treat cancer patients

Ø To make available cutting edge research information on cancer care in an easily accessible format at no cost on a worldwide scale

Ø To make available latest clinical trials information to cancer patients and their physicians

Ø To put into action what was proposed in the recent WHO report on cancer for knowledge sharing and the creation of knowledge networks.

Ø To contribute to the development of a research infrastructure and a research ethos for cancer care and prevention at a global level (1).


In the first phase of this project, MERLOT, (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and On-Line Teaching of The California State University System) is housing an online repository of donor contributed, categorized cancer learning materials (clinical guides, courses, research summaries, etc.) - picture. Contributing partners and their organizations will maintain ownership of the submitted educational material. Educational materials can be stored on INCTR's OERC site on the INCTR Portal. The Creative Commons policy will guide concerns about intellectual property.

Institutions and individuals interested in becoming contributing partners and users are invited to contact INCTR.

(1) “If the knowledge, technology and control strategies outlined in the World Cancer Report were applied globally, we would make major advances in preventing and treating cancers over the next twenty years and beyond.” says Bernard W. Stewart, Ph.D., co-editor of the WHO report, Director of Cancer Services, and Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia.

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