Online prognostic tool for lung cancer developed

Mar 08, 2011

Determining the best way to treat lung cancer – the leading cancer killer for both men and women – is an ongoing challenge to cancer doctors. But researchers at the West Virginia University Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center have developed an online tool to help doctors develop a treatment plan for their patients.

Current treatment is based on tumor staging, which determines the extent of cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. While staging is a strong predictor of survival, doctors can not rely on it to predict patient outcomes using various methods of treatment. Patients diagnosed with early disease can respond differently to the same treatment and up to 50 percent of those who undergo surgery – the major treatment option – relapse within five years.

Cancer Center researchers led by Lan Guo, Ph.D., have created an online prognostic tool called personalizedrx.org aimed at helping lung cancer doctors accurately estimate patient outcomes and determine the best course of treatment on a patient-by-patient basis.

Their work, “Combining Clinical, Pathological, and Refines Prognosis of Lung Cancer: A Population-Based Study,” has been published in the Feb. 25 edition of "PLoS ONE," an international, peer-reviewed, online publication of the U.S. Public Library of Science.

“Personalized Rx is a comprehensive prognostic model that investigates the impact of clinical, pathological and demographic factors on lung cancer survival based on clinical data on thousands of lung cancer patients from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) database,” Dr. Guo said. “Those factors include tumor stage, tumor grade, age, race, gender and histology, all of which are strongly associated with lung cancer survival.”

The SEER Program database is a key source for cancer statistics in the United States.

To use personalizedrx.org a doctor simply plugs in the clinical, pathological and demographic factors for a specific patient, which allows the model to draw from its data to calculate an estimated survival rate for that patient and an estimated survival rate based on specific treatment options. The model also estimates the patient’s risk for tumor recurrence.

“This model takes into account factors that are critically important in the clinical decision-making process,” Scot Remick, M.D., director of the Cancer Center and co-author of the research, said. “It is to be used strictly as a supplemental tool by doctors to help them individualize treatment.”

Explore further: Discovery could lead to new cancer treatment

More information: To view the research online see dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017493

Provided by West Virginia University

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers find genetic marker for repeat lung cancer

Aug 19, 2010

Current lung cancer survival statistics present a grim prognosis, but new findings could greatly impact survival rates. Researchers led by Lan Guo, Ph.D. at the West Virginia University Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center have ...

Recommended for you

Discovery could lead to new cancer treatment

15 hours ago

A team of scientists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine has reported the breakthrough discovery of a process to expand production of stem cells used to treat cancer patients. These findings could have implications ...

Is the HPV vaccine necessary?

21 hours ago

As the school year starts in full swing many parents wonder if their child should receive the HPV vaccine, which is recommended for girls ages 11-26 and boys 11-21. There are a lot of questions and controversy around this ...

User comments : 0