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Ann Intern Med. 1985 Dec;103(6 ( Pt 1)):928-36.

The treatment advice of a computer-based cancer chemotherapy protocol advisor.


ONCOCIN is a chemotherapy protocol advisor used experimentally in a university oncology clinic. The program combines formal protocol guidelines with judgments of oncologists who have experience adjusting therapy in complex clinical situations. We compared the chemotherapy administered by clinic physicians with the treatment that would have been recommended by ONCOCIN in 415 visits for 39 patients with lymphoma seen before the program's introduction. In 189 visits the program agreed with the therapy actually administered. In a blinded evaluation, four experts on lymphoma failed to find a significant difference between the treatments selected by physicians and those proposed by ONCOCIN. Further analyses showed that ONCOCIN tended to attenuate drug doses or delay treatment more than the experts recommended, whereas the physicians were less likely to attenuate doses to the extent the experts suggested. Our results show that ONCOCIN provides advice on lymphoma treatment similar to the treatment provided in a university oncology clinic.

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