PhD student develops cancer survival prediction tool

Researchers from the Department of Health Sciences have developed an online tool which presents a variety of measures that quantify the survival of patients with cancer from different perspectives. 

The ‘InterPreT Cancer Survival’ tool, which has been developed by PhD student Sarwar Islam, is a newly developed interactive tool to help scientists, health care professionals, patients and the public understand and interpret different statistics on cancer survival.

The tool allows users to examine survival rates for people with melanoma and cancers of the colon, breast, lung, prostate and rectum based on the age and sex of the individual.

Sarwar said: “At present, we envision InterPreT to be utilised as an educational tool to facilitate the communication and understanding of commonly reported cancer survival statistics. These are often reported poorly and misunderstood by scientists and the general public.

“We also anticipate that this will later extend to a prognostic tool with the inclusion of relevant disease characteristics to accurately predict patient outcome following a cancer diagnosis.”

Sarwar Islam is a Biostatistics PhD student at the University of Leicester. His PhD focuses on further development of flexible parametric modelling methods in competing risks and risk communication of cancer survival statistics through interactive tools.

The measures presented in InterPreT currently only reflect aggregated national level statistics in England. Patients' individual prognosis will differ in terms of other important disease characteristics, such as stage of cancer at diagnosis.