Knowledge Integration for Disease Characterization: A Breast Cancer Example

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Abstract:

With the rapid advancements in cancer research, the information that is useful for characterizing disease, staging tumors, and creating treatment and survivorship plans has been changing at a pace that creates challenges when physicians try to remain current. One example involves increasing usage of biomarkers when characterizing the pathologic prognostic stage of a breast tumor. We present our semantic technology approach to support cancer characterization and demonstrate it in our end-to-end prototype system that collects the newest breast cancer staging criteria from authoritative oncology manuals to construct an ontology for breast cancer. Using a tool we developed that utilizes this ontology, physician-facing applications can be used to quickly stage a new patient to support identifying risks, treatment options, and monitoring plans based on authoritative and best practice guidelines. Physicians can also re-stage existing patients or patient populations, allowing them to find patients whose stage has changed in a given patient cohort. As new guidelines emerge, using our proposed mechanism, which is grounded by semantic technologies for ingesting new data from staging manuals, we have created an enriched cancer staging ontology that integrates relevant data from several sources with very little human intervention.


Related Projects:

TW LogoHealth Empowerment by Analytics, Learning, and Semantics (HEALS) Project (HEALS)
Principal Investigator: Jim Hendler
Co Investigator: Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: The Center for Health Empowerment by Analytics, Learning, and Semantics (HEALS) is a five-year collaboration between Rensselaer and IBM aimed at researching how the application of advanced cognitive computing capabilities can help people to understand and improve their own health conditions.

Related Research Areas:

Data Science
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Description: Science has fully entered a new mode of operation. Data science is advancing inductive conduct of science driven by the greater volumes, complexity and heterogeneity of data being made available over the Internet. Data science combines of aspects of data management, library science, computer science, and physical science using supporting cyberinfrastructure and information technology. As such it is changing the way all of these disciplines do both their individual and collaborative work.

Data science is helping scienists face new global problems of a magnitude, complexity and interdisciplinary nature whose progress is presently limited by lack of available tools and a fully trained and agile workforce.

At present, there is a lack formal training in the key cognitive and skill areas that would enable graduates to become key participants in escience collaborations. The need is to teach key methodologies in application areas based on real research experience and build a skill-set.

At the heart of this new way of doing science, especially experimental and observational science but also increasingly computational science, is the generation of data.

Concepts: