News | July 31, 2014

Innovative Data Collection System for Cancer Patients Developed to Improve Care Outcomes

Real-time insights designed to provide personalized approaches for head and neck cancer

July 31, 2014 — An innovative new data collection system could revolutionize the way doctors provide treatment, helping them improve outcomes and decrease side effects for cancer patients, according to research presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).

Oncospace is a data mining system designed by medical physicists that collects comprehensive information on head and neck cancer patients to provide guidance in developing high-quality patient-specific therapy. The database contains insights on more than 500 patients and continues to grow.

Radiation therapy protocols are based on clinical trials, but represent care given to fewer than five percent of patients, take years to get results and generally don’t reflect standard practice,” said Todd McNutt, Ph.D., lead author of the study, and associate professor of medical physics and director of clinical informatics in radiation oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. “This system taps into the vast knowledge that exists in data resulting from routine clinical care. It enables us to capture meaningful information in real-time to help design individualized treatment plans and increase the likelihood of success.”

Using Oncospace, healthcare providers continually input information about cancer patients, ranging from family history, medications, surgical procedures and test results to specifics about the tumor (type, stage, size, shape), treatments — including radiation received (dose and target area) — and outcomes. Aggregating the information from all patients, researchers can detect patterns, predict the likelihood of side effects and gather other insights that help them design the best plan for new patients individually.

For example, based on information from 513 head and neck cancer patients, researchers found those who had high doses of radiation to small areas of the larynx, esophagus and muscles of the throat were more likely to have difficulty swallowing, whereas dry mouth was more likely to occur in patients who had lower doses of radiation to larger areas of the salivary glands, inside of the mouth or lower jaw. In new patients, doctors can plan for those side effects — such as by using prophylactic medications or placing a feeding tube before treatment — or lessen or avoid them by revising the radiation treatment plan to minimize the risks.

“The ultimate goal is to use ‘big data’ to provide personalized medicine, meaning for each new patient we’ll have information from the database that can help us predict how well that patient will do, whether he or she is likely to suffer specific side effects and the success of each treatment, and then design the best therapy for that individual,” said McNutt. “The system combines the real-world and ongoing information gathered in a registry with the research-level data collected in a trial.”

The researchers are gathering information on other cancers as well, including pancreas and prostate. The plan is to grow the program and eventually share it with other institutions to compare practices and continually improve treatment.

In addition to McNutt, co-authors of the Oncospace research presented at AAPM are: S. Robertson, H. Quon, A. Kiess, J. Moore, W. Yang, Z. Cheng, and A. Sharabi.

For more information: www.aapm.org

Related Content

Sponsored Content | Videos | Proton Therapy | August 21, 2017
Mark Pankuch, Ph.D., director of medical physics at the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center, discusses the cl
Summit Cancer Center-Boise Treats First Cancer Patients With Accuray Radixact System
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | August 21, 2017
Accuray Inc. and the Summit Cancer Center-Boise announced that the center is now treating patients with the Radixact...
MedStar Georgetown Proton Center Selects RayStation for Treatment Planning
News | Treatment Planning | August 17, 2017
August 17, 2017 — The proton center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital will utilize RayStation for planning on
DOSIsoft Releases ISOgray Proton Therapy Treatment Planning System
Technology | Treatment Planning | August 15, 2017
DOSIsoft SA announced the official release, with CE marking, of ISOgray Treatment Planning System (TPS) release 4.3 for...
First Radixact Results Presented at AAPM 2017
News | Radiation Therapy | August 10, 2017
Accuray Inc. announced that the first studies validating the benefits of the Radixact System were presented at the 59th...
Clinical Data Supports Use of Xoft System for Endometrial Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 03, 2017
Researchers presented clinical data supporting use of the Xoft Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) System for the...
Aktina’s interchangeable cones are lightweight and extremely accurate
News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2017
Aktina Medical announced a collaboration with Philips Medical Systems and Elekta Instruments for SRS interlocking at...
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 31, 2017
Elekta’s magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system will be the subject of 21 abstracts at the 59th American...
Accuray Receives 510(k) Clearance for iDMS Data Management System
Technology | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | July 31, 2017
July 31, 2017 — Accuray Inc. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S.
Overlay Init