DBCG hypo trial validation of radiotherapy parameters from a national data bank versus manual reporting

<p><b>Introduction:</b> The current study evaluates the data quality achievable using a national data bank for reporting radiotherapy parameters relative to the classical manual reporting method of selected parameters.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> The data comparison is based on 1522 Danish patients of the DBCG hypo trial with data stored in the Danish national radiotherapy data bank. In line with standard DBCG trial practice selected parameters were also reported manually to the DBCG database. Categorical variables are compared using contingency tables, and comparison of continuous parameters is presented in scatter plots.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> For categorical variables 25 differences between the data bank and manual values were located. Of these 23 were related to mistakes in the manual reported value whilst the remaining two were a wrong classification in the data bank. The wrong classification in the data bank was related to lack of dose information, since the two patients had been treated with an electron boost based on a manual calculation, thus data was not exported to the data bank, and this was not detected prior to comparison with the manual data. For a few database fields in the manual data an ambiguity of the parameter definition of the specific field is seen in the data. This was not the case for the data bank, which extract all data consistently.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> In terms of data quality the data bank is superior to manually reported values. However, there is a need to allocate resources for checking the validity of the available data as well as ensuring that all relevant data is present. The data bank contains more detailed information, and thus facilitates research related to the actual dose distribution in the patients.</p>