Online applications

For the purpose of the Belgian Virtual Tumourbank the Belgian Cancer Registry developed an online web application. This application consists of 2 modules, a registration module called BVTr (Belgian Virtual Tumourbank - registration module) and a catalogue module called BVTc (Belgian Virtual Tumourbank - catalogue module) (see figure in dataflow).


Both the applications can only be accessed after identification and authentication by the eHealth User and Access Management (UAM), allowing a highly secured way of managing medical data.



The registration module BVTr allows both registrations from the local tumourbanks by the biobank employees and processing of data by the BCR. The profiles and access rights for the BVTr differ depending on the user (BCR or biobank). More specifically a local biobank can perform registrations, query its own database and update its data if necessary, while the BCR can search all data, publish registered data in the catalogue, reject records when mistakes are noticed, add cTNM values from the database of the cancer registry and perform quality controls on the registered data. To perform registrations a biobank has 2 options, an individual registration or a batch upload:

  • The individual registration option offers a tool to biobanks to register their individual data directly via the system. By downloading the registered data, they can use this database for local registration as well.
  • Most biobanks use their own local registration system. By exporting their data to a standardized template via an extraction algoritm these biobanks can easily upload this extracted file in the central database. After an automatic validation the registered data appear in the central database.


This central database will regularly be checked by employees of the BCR, who can either publish data in the BVT database or reject the registration and send them back to the laboratory.



Once data are published they are available for cancer researchers via the catalogue module BVTc. The BVTc is an easy-to-use tool that allows researchers to query the database of the Belgian Virtual Tumourbank and locate the samples of their interest in the different local biobanks. In a first stage only the physicians of the steering committee will have access to the catalogue. The steering committee is currently working on a procedure that can be used by external researchers to get access to the BVTc.