Patient data was used to develop a tool to help doctors and breast cancer patients find the best treatment

What happened?

Patient data was analysed to understand how well different treatments have worked in the past for breast cancer patients after they had surgery. The results were gathered together to create an online tool called Predict which helps breast cancer patients and their doctors today choose a treatment plan together. The tool uses data about the survival of women with similar characteristics and medical history to show patients and doctors the likely benefit of different types of treatment. Then doctors and patients can decide if the benefits of a treatment outweigh the side effects of that treatment and choose the best plan together.  Predict is now used as a consultation tool in the NHS.

Why is this work needed?

Using patient data to understand how well treatments have worked in the past is needed to help doctors and patients make well informed decisions today. Understanding the benefits of different treatments is important so that patients receive the best possible care. Without patient data, it would not be possible to compare cancer treatments and tailor care to the needs of individual patients.

What are the benefits?

The Predict tool uses patient data to provide breast cancer patients and their doctors the best available information about what effect different treatment options might have, displayed in ways that are clear and easy to understand. This helps doctors and patients make an informed decision together about what is right for them, based on the best evidence.

What type of data was involved?

Predict was developed using patient data from the Eastern Cancer Information and Registration Centre (ECRIC), which is now a part of the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) within Public Health England. It was also developed using patient data from clinical trials. 

What was the legal basis for accessing this data?

NCRAS (and previously the ECIRC) has legal permission to collect patient-level data and use it for research to protect the health of the population. This permission is granted under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006. 

Who carried out this work?

Predict was developed by the Cambridge Breast Unit, University of Cambridge Department of Oncology, the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, Health Data Insight, and the ECRIC.

Where can I go for more information?

Predict Breast Cancer

Predict: a new UK prognostic model that predicts survival following surgery for invasive breast cancer

Winton Centre for Risk & Evidence Communication 

Blog – Patient data is helping to improve care for breast cancer patients

This work uses data that has been provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support. The data are collated, maintained and quality assured by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, which is part of Public Health England (PHE).