Geographic information systems (GIS) offer a very rich toolbox of methods and technologies, and powerful research tools that extend far beyond the mere production of maps, making it possible to cross-link and study the complex interaction of disease data and factors originating from a wide range of disparate sources. Despite their potential indispensable role in cancer prevention and control programmes, GIS are underrepresented in specialised oncology literature. The latter has provided an impetus for the current review. The review provides an eight-year snapshot of geospatial cancer research in peer-reviewed literature (2002-2009), presenting the clinico-epidemiological and methodological findings and trends in the covered corpus (93 papers). The authors concluded that understanding the relationship between location and cancer/cancer care services can play a crucial role in disease control and prevention, and in better service planning, and appropriate resource utilisation. Nevertheless, there are still barriers that hinder the wide-scale adoption of GIS and related technologies in everyday oncology practice.
- Geographic Information Systems