October 28, 2019

Can machine learning predict 6-month mortality in cancer patients?

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this study, machine learning algorithms accurately identified cancer patients who were at risk of 6-month mortality.

Of 26,525 cancer patients analyzed, machine learning models based on structured electronic health record data accurately predicted short-term mortality risk with good discrimination and positive predictive value.


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When the gradient boosting algorithm was applied in real time, 100 of 171 patients classified as high risk were deemed appropriate for a conversation with their oncologists regarding serious illness.

These models could facilitate timely conversations between patients and physicians about treatment and end-of-life preferences, the researchers say.

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