DeepPhe-CR: Natural Language Processing Software Services for Cancer Registrar Case Abstraction

Harry Hochheiser, Sean Finan, Zhou Yuan, Eric B Durbin, Jong Cheol Jeong, Isaac Hands, David Rust, Ramakanth Kavuluru, Xiao-Cheng Wu, Jeremy L Warner, Guergana Savova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The manual extraction of case details from patient records for cancer surveillance efforts is a resource-intensive task. Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques have been proposed for automating the identification of key details in clinical notes. Our goal was to develop NLP application programming interfaces (APIs) for integration into cancer registry data abstraction tools in a computer-assisted abstraction setting.

METHODS: We used cancer registry manual abstraction processes to guide the design of DeepPhe-CR, a web-based NLP service API. The coding of key variables was done through NLP methods validated using established workflows. A container-based implementation including the NLP wasdeveloped. Existing registry data abstraction software was modified to include results from DeepPhe-CR. An initial usability study with data registrars provided early validation of the feasibility of the DeepPhe-CR tools.

RESULTS: API calls support submission of single documents and summarization of cases across multiple documents. The container-based implementation uses a REST router to handle requests and support a graph database for storing results. NLP modules extract topography, histology, behavior, laterality, and grade at 0.79-1.00 F1 across common and rare cancer types (breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, ovary and pediatric brain) on data from two cancer registries. Usability study participants were able to use the tool effectively and expressed interest in adopting the tool.

DISCUSSION: Our DeepPhe-CR system provides a flexible architecture for building cancer-specific NLP tools directly into registrar workflows in a computer-assisted abstraction setting. Improving user interactions in client tools, may be needed to realize the potential of these approaches. DeepPhe-CR: .

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences
StatePublished - May 5 2023


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