Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 128, Issue 3, pp 827-835

Improved web-based calculators for predicting breast carcinoma outcomes

  • James S. MichaelsonAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Massachusetts General HospitalDepartment of Pathology, Massachusetts General HospitalDepartment of Pathology, Harvard Medical SchoolLaboratory of Quantitative Medicine, Division of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Email author 
  • , L. Leon ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • , Devon BushAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • , Allan FongAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • , Barbara SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Massachusetts General HospitalDepartment of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • , Jerry YoungerAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Massachusetts General HospitalDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

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We describe a set of web-based calculators, available at http://​www.​CancerMath.​net, which estimate the risk of breast carcinoma death, the reduction in life expectancy, and the impact of various adjuvant treatment choices. The published SNAP method of the binary biological model of cancer metastasis uses information on tumor size, nodal status, and other prognostic factors to accurately estimate of breast cancer lethality at 15 years after diagnosis. By combining these 15-year lethality estimates with data on the breast cancer hazard function, breast cancer lethality can be estimated at each of the 15 years after diagnosis. A web-based calculator was then created to visualize the estimated lethality with and without a range of adjuvant therapy options at any of the 15 years after diagnosis, and enable conditional survival calculations. NIH population data was used to estimate non-breast-cancer chance of death. The accuracy of the calculators was tested against two large breast carcinoma datasets: 7,907 patients seen at two academic hospitals and 362,491 patients from the SEER national dataset. The calculators were found to be highly accurate and specific, as seen by their capacity for stratifying patients into groups differing by as little as a 2% risk of death, and accurately accounting for nodal status, histology, grade, age, and hormone receptor status. Our breast carcinoma calculators provide accurate and useful estimates of the risk of death, which can aid in analysis of the various adjuvant therapy options available to each patient.


Breast cancer Survival Outcome Calculator Epidemiology Conditional survival Hazard function