Using hospital medical record data to assess the accuracy of the SEER Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program for initial treatment of prostate cancer: a small pilot study

Treatment information from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Result Program (SEER) cancer registries is increasingly being used for population-based cancer research; however, it may be incomplete for outpatient procedures and is not quality controlled. We sought to validate SEER information on initial treatment of prostate cancer by comparison to electronic medical record (EMR) review.

Patients diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2014 in Los Angeles County who received treatment at our institution within 6 months of diagnosis were identified from the SEER registry. We reviewed the hospital EMR for these patients and identified initial treatment received within 6 months of diagnosis. We compared data reported to SEER data to our re-abstracted hospital EMR data (defined as the gold standard) to identify the completeness of SEER treatment data (sensitivity) and the accuracy of the SEER information (positive predictive value).

Based on 266 eligible patients, SEER's sensitivity in capturing initial treatment was 95.9% (118/123) for prostatectomy, 95.8% (69/72) for no treatment, 87.5% (21/24) for radiation therapy, 68.3% (28/41) for active surveillance or watchful waiting, and 50.0% (2/4) for cryosurgery. The SEER positive predictive value was 100% for radiation therapy and cryosurgery, 97.5% (118/121) for radical prostatectomy, 82.3% (28/34) for active surveillance or watchful waiting, and 78.4% (69/88) for no treatment.

The SEER data were highly sensitive and has a high positive predictive value for surgery and radiation therapy but underreported use of active surveillance. These results may assist researchers in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of using SEER prostate cancer treatment data.

Cancer causes & control : CCC. 2018 Jul 18 [Epub ahead of print]

Ryan D Kraus, Ann S Hamilton, Mari Carlos, Leslie K Ballas

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, 1441 Eastlake Ave, Norris G350, Los Angeles, CA, 90033, USA., Department of Preventative Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA., Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, 1441 Eastlake Ave, Norris G350, Los Angeles, CA, 90033, USA. .