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Development, Validation, and Dissemination of a Breast Cancer Recurrence Detection and Timing Informatics Algorithm

This study developed, validated, and disseminated a generalizable informatics algorithm for detecting breast cancer recurrence and timing using a gold standard measure of recurrence coupled with data derived from a readily available common data model that pools health insurance claims and electronic health records data. The algorithm has two parts: to detect the presence of recurrence and to estimate the timing of recurrence. The primary data source was the Cancer Research Network Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW). Sixteen potential indicators of recurrence were considered for model development. The final recurrence detection and timing models were determined, respectively, by maximizing the area under the ROC curve (AUROC) and minimizing average absolute error. Detection and timing algorithms were validated using VDW data in comparison with a gold standard recurrence capture from a third site in which recurrences were validated through chart review. Performance of this algorithm, stratified by stage at diagnosis, was compared with other published algorithms. All statistical tests were two-sided. Detection model AUROCs were 0.939 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.917 to 0.955) in the training data set (n = 3370) and 0.956 (95% CI = 0.944 to 0.971) and 0.900 (95% CI = 0.872 to 0.928), respectively, in the two validation data sets (n = 3370 and 3961, respectively). Timing models yielded average absolute prediction errors of 12.6% (95% CI = 10.5% to 14.5%) in the training data and 11.7% (95% CI = 9.9% to 13.5%) and 10.8% (95% CI = 9.6% to 12.2%) in the validation data sets, respectively, and were statistically significantly lower by 12.6% (95% CI = 8.8% to 16.5%, P < .001) than those estimated using previously reported timing algorithms. Similar covariates were included in both detection and timing algorithms but differed substantially from previous studies. Valid and reliable detection of recurrence using data derived from electronic medical records and insurance claims is feasible. These tools will enable extensive, novel research on quality, effectiveness, and outcomes for breast cancer patients and those who develop recurrence.

Authors: Ritzwoller DP; Hassett MJ; Uno H; Cronin AM; Carroll NM; Hornbrook MC; Kushi LC

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 03 01;110(3):273-281.

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