Scientific publications

ENT COBRA (Consortium for Brachytherapy Data Analysis): interdisciplinary standardized data collection system for head and neck patients treated with interventional radiotherapy (brachytherapy)

Tagliaferri L (1), Kovács G (2), Autorino R (1), Budrukkar A (3), Guinot JL (4), Hildebrand G (5), Johansson B (6), Monge RM (7), Meyer JE (8), Niehoff P (9), Rovirosa A (10), Takàcsi-Nagy Z (11), Dinapoli N (1), Lanzotti V (12), Damiani A (13), Soror T (2), Valentini V (1).

(1) Department of Radiation Oncology - Gemelli-ART, Catholic University, Italy.
(2) Interdisciplinary Brachytherapy Unit, University of Lübeck - University Hospital S-H, Campus Lübeck, Germany.
(3) Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India.
(4) Department of Radiation Oncology, Fundacion Instituto Valenciano de Oncologia, Valencia, Spain.
(5) University Hospital Radiotherapy Department, University of Rostock, Germany.
(6) Department of Oncology, Orebro University Hospital and Orebro University, Sweden.
(7) Clìnica Universidad de Navarra, Navarra, Spain.
(8) Head & Neck Surgery Department, AK St. George Hospital, Hamburg, Germany.
(9) University Witten Herdecke, Cologne, Germany.
(10) Hospital Clinic I Universitari, Barcelona, Spain.
(11) National Cancer Institute, Budapest, Hungary.
(12) Software programmer manager; KBO-Labs - Gemelli-ART, Catholic University, Italy.
(13) Mathematics; KBO-Labs - Gemelli-ART, Catholic University, Italy. 

Magazine: Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy

Date: Aug 1, 2016

Radiation Oncology

PURPOSE:
Aim of the COBRA (Consortium for Brachytherapy Data Analysis) project is to create a multicenter group (consortium) and a web-based system for standardized data collection.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:
GEC-ESTRO (Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie - European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology) Head and Neck (H&N) Working Group participated in the project and in the implementation of the consortium agreement, the ontology (data-set) and the necessary COBRA software services as well as the peer reviewing of the general anatomic site-specific COBRA protocol. The ontology was defined by a multicenter task-group.

RESULTS:
Eleven centers from 6 countries signed an agreement and the consortium approved the ontology. We identified 3 tiers for the data set: Registry (epidemiology analysis), Procedures (prediction models and DSS), and Research (radiomics). The COBRA-Storage System (C-SS) is not time-consuming as, thanks to the use of "brokers", data can be extracted directly from the single center's storage systems through a connection with "structured query language database" (SQL-DB), Microsoft Access(®), FileMaker Pro(®), or Microsoft Excel(®).

The system is also structured to perform automatic archiving directly from the treatment planning system or afterloading machine. The architecture is based on the concept of "on-purpose data projection". The C-SS architecture is privacy protecting because it will never make visible data that could identify an individual patient. This C-SS can also benefit from the so called "distributed learning" approaches, in which data never leave the collecting institution, while learning algorithms and proposed predictive models are commonly shared.

CONCLUSIONS:
Setting up a consortium is a feasible and practicable tool in the creation of an international and multi-system data sharing system. COBRA C-SS seems to be well accepted by all involved parties, primarily because it does not influence the center's own data storing technologies, procedures, and habits. Furthermore, the method preserves the privacy of all patients.

CITATION  J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2016 Aug;8(4):336-43. doi: 10.5114/jcb.2016.61958. Epub 2016 Aug 26

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