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Proc AMIA Symp. 1999:340-4.

Decision support for clinical trial eligibility determination in breast cancer.

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  • 1Decision Systems Group, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


We have developed a system for clinical trial eligibility determination where patients or primary care providers can enter clinical information about a patient and obtain a ranked list of clinical trials for which the patient is likely to be eligible. We used clinical trial eligibility information from the National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query (PDQ) database. We translated each free-text eligibility criterion into a machine executable statement using a derivation of the Arden Syntax. Clinical trial protocols were then structured as collections of these eligibility criteria using XML. The application compares the entered patient information against each of the eligibility criteria and returns a numerical score. Results are displayed in order of likelihood of match. We have tested our system using all phase II and III clinical trials for treatment of metastatic breast cancer found in the PDQ database. Preliminary results are encouraging.

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