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Completeness and accuracy of national cancer and death registration for outcome ascertainment in trials—an ovarian cancer exemplar

Kalsi, Jatinderpal K., Ryan, Andy, Gentry-Maharaj, Aleksandra, Margolin-Crump, Danielle, Singh, Naveena, Burnell, Matthew, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Apostolidou, Sophia, Habib, Mariam, Massingham, Susan, Karpinskyj, Chloe, Woolas, Robert, Widschwendter, Martin, Fallowfield, Lesley, Campbell, Stuart, Skates, Steven, McGuire, Alistair, Parmar, Max, Jacobs, Ian and Menon, Usha (2021) Completeness and accuracy of national cancer and death registration for outcome ascertainment in trials—an ovarian cancer exemplar. Trials, 22 (1). ISSN 1745-6215

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s13063-020-04968-x


Background: There is a trend to increasing use of routinely collected health data to ascertain outcome measures in trials. We report on the completeness and accuracy of national ovarian cancer and death registration in the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS). Methods: Of the 202,638 participants, 202,632 were successfully linked and followed through national cancer and death registries of Northern Ireland, Wales and England. Women with registrations of any of 19 pre-defined ICD-10 codes suggestive of tubo-ovarian cancer or notification of ovarian/tubal/peritoneal cancer from hospital episode statistics or trial sites were identified. Copies of hospital and primary care notes were retrieved and reviewed by an independent outcomes review committee. National registration of site and cause of death as ovarian/tubal/peritoneal cancer (C56/C57/C48) obtained up to 3 months after trial censorship was compared to that assigned by outcomes review (reference standard). Results: Outcome review was undertaken in 3110 women on whom notification was received between 2001 and 2014. Ovarian cancer was confirmed in 1324 of whom 1125 had a relevant cancer registration. Sensitivity and specificity of ovarian/tubal/peritoneal cancer registration were 85.0% (1125/1324; 95% CI 83.7–86.2%) and 94.0% (1679/1786; 95% CI 93.2–94.8%), respectively. Of 2041 death registrations reviewed, 681 were confirmed to have a tubo-ovarian cancer of whom 605 had relevant death registration. Sensitivity and specificity were 88.8% (605/681; 95% CI 86.4–91.2%) and 96.7% (1482/1533, 95% CI 95.8–97.6%), respectively. When multiple electronic health record sources were considered, sensitivity for cancer site increased to 91.1% (1206/1324, 95% CI 89.4–92.5%) and for cause of death 94.0% (640/681, 95% CI 91.9–95.5%). Of 1232 with cancer registration, 8.7% (107/1232) were wrongly designated as ovarian/tubal/peritoneal cancers by the registry and 4.0% (47/1172) of confirmed tubo-ovarian cancers were mis-registered. In 656 with death registrations, 7.8% (51/656) were wrongly assigned as due to ovarian/tubal/peritoneal cancers while 6.2% (40/645) of confirmed tubo-ovarian cancer deaths were mis-registered. Conclusion: Follow-up of trial participants for tubo-ovarian cancer using national registry data will result in incomplete ascertainment, particularly of the site due in part to the latency of registration. This can be reduced by using other routinely collected data such as hospital episode statistics. Central adjudication by experts though resource intensive adds value by improving the accuracy of diagnoses. Trial registration: ISRCTN: ISRCTN22488978. Registered on 6 April 2000

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 16:15
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:05

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