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Mathematical models out-perform doctors in predicting cancer patients' responses to treatment
Date:4/19/2013

nea for 139 and dysphagia for 146 patients. At the second time point, predictions were only available for 35, 39 and 41 patients respectively.

For all three predictions and at both time points, the mathematical models substantially outperformed the doctors' predictions, with the doctors' predictions being little better than those expected by chance.

The researchers plotted the results on a special graph [1] on which the area below the plotted line is used for measuring the accuracy of predictions; 1 represents a perfect prediction, while 0.5 represents predictions that were right in 50% of cases, i.e. the same as chance. They found that the model predictions at the first time point were 0.71 for two-year survival, 0.76 for dyspnea and 0.72 for dysphagia. In contrast, the doctors' predictions were 0.56, 0.59 and 0.52 respectively.

The models had a better positive predictive value (PPV) a measure of the proportion of patients who were correctly assessed as being at risk of dying within two years or suffering from dyspnea and dysphagia than the doctors. The negative predictive value (NPV) a measure of the proportion of patients that would not die within two years or suffer from dyspnea and dysphagia was comparable between the models and the doctors.

"This indicates that the models were better at identifying high risk patients that have a very low chance of surviving or a very high chance of developing severe dyspnea or dysphagia," said Dr Oberije.

The researchers say that it is important that further research is carried out into how prediction models can be integrated into standard clinical care. In addition, further improvement of the models by incorporating all the latest advances in areas such as genetics, imaging and other factors, is important. This will make it possible to tailor treatment to the individual patient's biological make-up and tumour type

"In our opinion, individualised treatment can only su
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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