A clinical decision support system learned from data to personalize treatment recommendations towards preventing breast cancer metastasis

Xia Jiang, Alan Wells, Adam Brufsky, Richard Neapolitan

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    33 Scopus citations


    Objective A Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) that can amass Electronic Health Record (EHR) and other patient data holds promise to provide accurate classification and guide treatment choices. Our objective is to develop the Decision Support System for Making Personalized Assessments and Recommendations Concerning Breast Cancer Patients (DPAC), which is a CDSS learned from data that recommends the optimal treatment decisions based on a patient's features. Method We developed a Bayesian network architecture called Causal Modeling with Internal Layers (CAMIL), and an algorithm called Treatment Feature Interactions (TFI), which learns from data the interactions needed in a CAMIL model. Using the TFI algorithm, we learned interactions for six treatments from the LSDS-5YDM dataset. We created a CAMIL model using these interactions, resulting in a DPAC which recommends treatments towards preventing 5-year breast cancer metastasis. Results In a 5-fold cross-validation analysis, we compared the probability of being metastasis free in 5 years for patients who made decisions recommended by DPAC to those who did not. These probabilities are (the probability for those making the decisions appears first): Chemotherapy (.938, .872); breast/chest wall radiation (.939, .902); nodal field radiation (.940, .784); antihormone (.941, .906); HER2 inhibitors (.934, .880); neadjuvant therapy (.931, .837). In an application of DPAC to the independent METABRIC dataset, the probabilities for chemotherapy were (.845, .788). Discussion Patients who took the advice of DPAC had, as a group, notably better outcomes than those who did not. We conclude that DPAC is effective at amassing and analyzing data towards treatment recommendations. Some of the findings in DPAC are controversial. For example, DPAC says that chemotherapy increases the chances of metastasis for many node negative patients. This controversy shows the importance of developing a conclusive version of DPAC to ensure we provide patients with the best patient-specific treatment recommendations.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere0213292
    JournalPloS one
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2019

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


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