Frequently Asked Questions

Caisis is a web based cancer data management system, designed to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice. The project was started with the goal of improving data quality and accuracy, while reducing time and effort for clinicians trying to summarize and document patient histories. Institutions who have adopted Caisis have found significant improvements in publishing higher quality research in less time.

Yes. Caisis is free to download and install under an open-source user license, referred to as the General Public License (GPL). Details about this license can be found at the Open Source Initiative. The open source agreement allows you to download both the application files and the source code. The source code may be modified and freely distributed, as long as changes are shared with BioDigital and redistributed under the GPL.

Absolutely. We welcome the opportunity to speak and work with you. As with all open-source projects, the Caisis Project will be most successful if we build a community of collaborators devoted to the development of freely available software for the healthcare field. As such, we are always looking for new partners to share in the continuing development and improvement of the Caisis application. If you would like to participate, please contact the Caisis team.

Since version 4.0 the Caisis documentation is being maintained on the wiki This wiki facilitates the core Caisis team and outside community members to continually add new documentation.

We make a best effort to keep this content updated, but since 110% of our time is typically spent on active development, there may be areas where documentation is lacking or out-of-date.

The Caisis Installation Instructions available on the Wiki should guide you through the process. However, if you have further questions or problems, please contact our tech team at If you are looking for more dedicated support and/or customizaton, dedicated support is now available.

In most instances, people are currently using Caisis to help manage their patient data for research. In the future, we hope that users will take advantage of the full scope of the system including the features for Tumor Banking, Protocol Management, Project Tracking and Patient Education.

System requirements for Caisis can be found here.

Deciding what system to use in your private practice or hospital can be very difficult because of concerns about security, cost, flexibility, scalability, quality, and reliability. Caisis meets or exceeds requirements in all these categories.

  1. Caisis was designed and built to be deployed across the Web outside of an institutional firewall, so it has standalone security that meets or exceeds the guidelines of HIPAA, CFR, and the NCI.
  2. Because of the open-source nature of the project, you have zero software investment, substantial input regarding project direction, and access to the source codes.
  3. Caisis iuses enterprise-level technologies (Microsoft's .Net and SQL Server), so scaling from a small private clinic to a larger institution is not a problem.
  4. Caisis is Web based, so cost and staffing requirements are far less than client server applications and other systems offered by vendors In addition, you don’t have to worry about vendors going out of business.
  5. Caisis iwas designed and built by members of the healthcare community who have faced the same problems you are facing today.

The Caisis security system strictly adheres to the guidelines set forth by HIPAA. Steps have been taken to limit unauthorized access to patient data, or other security and confidentiality breaches. Once logged into the application, users can prevent unapproved access to entire sections of data.

The features in Caisis have been designed to complement other hospital systems, including electronic medical records and order-management systems. The functions of some hospital systems may be duplicated in future Caisis releases, but you always have the option to turn off functions that are already covered by other systems at your organization.

Caisis can be downloaded here. Downloading the application requires a quick registration and acknowledgement of the GPL open-source license. Original source code and documentation can also be found at this location.

Caisis comes with an install file that walks you through the process of setting up the application. In addition, installation documentation is available on the wiki.

At the moment, Caisis is available only in English. As the project matures, other languages will become available. If you would like to contribute to the project or expand on the language capabilities of the application, feel free to contact the Caisis Admin at

Caisis is being designed with Web standards in mind. As such, modern standard-compliant browsers should work fine with the application, regardless of the operating system you are running. If you are running Linux or Mac in your server environments, then you may want to review the details of the Mono Project.

Version 1.0 of the Mono project (released June 30, 2004) should allow Caisis to run in the UNIX environment of Linux and Mac OS X. The Caisis team has not yet fully tested the application in this environment, but plans are underway for complete testing in the near future.

Caisis is a derivative of the Italian word, Casus, which means "opportunity" or "event." Because that word was already trademarked, we decided to change the spelling slightly to Caisis, which carries the same meaning. This name also resembles an acronym for Cancer Information System.

If you still have questions or are interested in Caisis, please contact the Caisis Team at We will get back to you as soon as possible.