The Internet has already evolved a solution
The cancer treatment database problem is very similar to the information seeking problems encountered in the technological world of e-business. In e-business also, there is a great need for up-to-date information that is frustrated by large numbers of variables and the rapidly expanding and evolving knowledge base; not to mention the large number of technical experts and specialists involved. Despite the vast capacity of the World Wide Web and the low cost of Internet communication and information transfer, the creation of a universal knowledge database has similarly proved impossibly difficult and prohibitively costly to implement.
Significantly, an alternative to conventional database solutions has evolved naturally on the Internet: networks of people who, as interacting communities (listserves, news groups and e-mail forums) , provide living databases of up-to-date information and knowledge. Direct information exchange between humans, rather than algorithms, seems to be the most efficient and cost effective way to search, sort and obtain the type of volatile information involved in electronic communication technology.
This suggests that a solution to the cancer treatment database problem might be to set up a similar living system of information exchange to serve doctors and patients. The trick will be to organise a suitably formatted people space, where people can find each other and which will be economical to build and maintain.