Clinical Cancer Registries - Are They Up for Health Services Research?

Stud Health Technol Inform 2016 ;228:242-6

GECKO Institute, Heilbronn University, Heilbronn, Germany.

Clinical cancer registries are a valuable data source for health services research (HSR). HSR is in need of high quality routine care data for its evaluations. However, the secondary use of routine data - such as documented cancer cases in a disease registry - poses new challenges in terms of data quality, IT-management, documentation processes and data privacy. In the clinical cancer registry Heilbronn-Franken, real-world data from the Giessen Tumor Documentation System (GTDS) was utilized for analyses of patients' disease processes and guideline adherence in follow-up care. A process was developed to map disease state definitions to fields of the GTDS database and extract patients' disease progress information. Thus, the disease process of sub-cohorts could be compared to each other, e.g., comparison of disease free survival of HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2)-positive and -negative women who were treated with Trastuzumab, a targeted therapy applied in breast cancer. In principle, such comparisons are feasible and of great value for HSR as they depict a routine care setting of a diverse patient cohort. Yet, local documentation practice, missing flow of information from external health care providers or small sub-cohorts impede the analyses of clinical cancer registries data bases and usage for HSR.

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April 2017
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