Send to

Choose Destination
EGEMS (Wash DC). 2019 Mar 29;7(1):7. doi: 10.5334/egems.273.

Collaborating on Data, Science, and Infrastructure: The 20-Year Journey of the Cancer Research Network.

Author information

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, US.
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Marshfield, WI, US.
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA, US.
University of California Davis School of Medicine, Davis, CA, US.
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, US.
Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, US.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA, US.
Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Portland, OR, US.
Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Aurora, CO, US.
Health Care Systems Research Network, Seattle, WA, US.
Contributed equally


The Cancer Research Network (CRN) is a consortium of 12 research groups, each affiliated with a nonprofit integrated health care delivery system, that was first funded in 1998. The overall goal of the CRN is to support and facilitate collaborative cancer research within its component delivery systems. This paper describes the CRN's 20-year experience and evolution. The network combined its members' scientific capabilities and data resources to create an infrastructure that has ultimately supported over 275 projects. Insights about the strengths and limitations of electronic health data for research, approaches to optimizing multidisciplinary collaboration, and the role of a health services research infrastructure to complement traditional clinical trials and large observational datasets are described, along with recommendations for other research consortia.


Delivery of Health Care; Electronic Health Records; Health Services Research; Quality Improvement; Research Network

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no competing interests to declare.

Publication type

Publication type

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center