Heuristic value-based framework for lung cancer decision-making

Isa Mambetsariev, Rebecca Pharaon, Arin Nam, Kevin Knopf, Benjamin Djulbegovic, Victoria M. Villaflor, Everett E. Vokes, Ravi Salgia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Heuristics and the application of fast-and-frugal trees may play a role in establishing a clinical decision-making framework for value-based oncology. We determined whether clinical decision-making in oncology can be structured heuristically based on the timeline of the patient's treatment, clinical intuition, and evidence-based medicine. A group of 20 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were enrolled into the study for extensive treatment analysis and sequential decision-making. The extensive clinical and genomic data allowed us to evaluate the methodology and efficacy of fast-and-frugal trees as a way to quantify clinical decision-making. The results of the small cohort will be used to further advance the heuristic framework as a way of evaluating a large number of patients within registries. Among the cohort whose data was analyzed, substitution and amplification mutations occurred most frequently. The top five most prevalent genomic alterations were TP53 (45%), ALK (40%), LRP1B (30%), CDKN2A (25%), and MYC (25%). These 20 cases were analyzed by this clinical decision-making process and separated into two distinctions: 10 straightforward cases that represented a clearer decision-making path and 10 complex cases that represented a more intricate treatment pathway. The myriad of information from each case and their distinct pathways was applied to create the foundation of a framework for lung cancer decision-making as an aid for oncologists. In late-stage lung cancer patients, the fast-and-frugal heuristics can be utilized as a strategy of quantifying proper decision-making with limited information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29877-29891
Number of pages15
Issue number52
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Fast-and-frugal trees
  • Framework
  • Genomics
  • Heuristics
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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