JCO Clin Cancer Inform 2018 12;2:1-14
Frank P. Lin and Richard J. Epstein, St Vincent's Hospital and The Kinghorn Cancer Centre; Frank P. Lin, Tudor Groza, Simon Kocbek, and Richard J. Epstein, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia; Frank P. Lin, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand; and Erick Antezana, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Purpose: There is as yet no computer-processable resource to describe treatment end points in cancer, hindering our ability to systematically capture and share outcomes data to inform better patient care. To address these unmet needs, we have built an ontology, the Cancer Care Treatment Outcome Ontology (CCTOO), to organize high-level concepts of treatment end points with structured knowledge representation to facilitate standardized sharing of real-world data.
Methods: End points from oncology trials in ClinicalTrials.gov were extracted, queried using the keyword cancer, and followed by an expert appraisal. Synonyms and relevant terms were imported from the National Cancer Institute Thesaurus and Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. Logical relationships among concepts were manually represented by production rules. The applicability of 1,847 rules was tested in an index case.
Results: After removing duplicated terms from 54,705 trial entries, an ontology holding 1,133 terms was built. CCTOO organized concepts into four domains (cancer treatment, health services, physical, and psychosocial health-related concepts), 13 subgroups (including efficacy, safety, and quality of life), and two (taxonomic and evaluative) concept hierarchies. This ontology has a comprehensive term coverage in the cancer trial literature: at least one term was mentioned in 98% of MEDLINE abstracts of phase I to III trials, whereas concepts about efficacy were mentioned in 7,208 (79%) phase I, 15,051 (92%) phase II, and 3,884 (86%) phase III trials. The event sequence of the index case was readily convertible to a comprehensive profile incorporating response, treatment toxicity, and survival by applying the set of production rules curated in the CCTOO.
Conclusion: CCTOO categorizes high-level treatment end points used in oncology and provides a mechanism for profiling individual patient data by outcomes to facilitate translational analysis.