The Physician Data Query (PDQ) cancer information system

J Cancer Educ. 1986;1(2):79-87. doi: 10.1080/08858198609527818.


PDQ is an online database that provides information about the prognosis and treatment of all major types of cancer. It represents a major effort by the NCI to communicate advances in cancer treatment using computer technology, and serves as a major component of the Institute's program to reduce cancer mortality nationwide. PDQ utilizes a modern large-scale computer to provide processing speed, a general purpose database management system to provide retrieval and display functions, and commercial telecommunication networks to provide online access to up-to-date information on cancer treatment. A series of user-friendly menus allow searching, browsing, and displaying without having to learn a specialized search language. PDQ is accessible through the National Library of Medicine's computer system via a computer terminal or personal computer and is available to the medical community at over 2000 medical libraries and centers and through individual access codes. PDQ is also available as an online database under a special license agreement with NCI through two medical information systems produced by commercial database vendors: BRS/Saunders' COLLEAGUE and Mead Data Central's MEDIS.

MeSH terms

  • Drugs, Investigational
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • MEDLARS / organization & administration*
  • MEDLARS / statistics & numerical data
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • United States
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Drugs, Investigational