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Chemotherapy for cancer cluster

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term561228
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 08/05/2014
DSS type:Help on this termData Element Cluster
Scope:Help on this term

Chemotherapy is cancer treatment that achieves its antitumour effect through the use of antineoplastic drugs that inhibit the reproduction of cancer cells by interfering with DNA synthesis and mitosis.

The chemotherapy cluster consists of those data elements recommended for collection as best practice when the patient is administered chemotherapy as part of the course of treatment for cancer. The chemotherapy cluster collects information on the chemotherapy agent or protocol, the number of cycles administered and the start and finish dates of treatment.

Information on the agent and number of cycles of chemotherapy treatment is required to evaluate patterns of care, the effectiveness of different treatment modalities and treatment by patient outcome. Collecting the start and finish dates will enable an estimate of the duration of chemotherapy and the time interval from diagnosis to treatment.

The use of standard definitions and formats supports the consistent collection and management of data and enables the integration of data from different sources. It provides a common language facilitating the interpretation and analysis of results, data linkage for statistical purposes, longitudinal studies and patient patterns of care and outcome studies. These results may then inform professional guidelines and training, quality assurance and the planning and evaluation of cancer control activities, potentially improving outcomes for patients.

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Capturing chemotherapy agents and cycles can be problematic. Chemotherapy agents are administered in treatment cycles, either singly or in a combination regimen or protocol of two or more chemotherapy drugs. Treatment may be administered prior to surgery or radiotherapy to reduce the tumour burden (neoadjuvant), concurrent with radiotherapy, following surgery or radiotherapy (adjuvant) or on its own. Regimens may be complex involving many drugs given at different times during a course of treatment. In addition, if a patient has an adverse reaction, one of the agents in a combination regimen may be changed.

Furthermore, chemotherapy regimens are often expressed as acronyms identifying the agents used in combination. However, the letters used are not consistent across regimens, and in some cases (for example, "BEACOPP") the same letter is used to represent two different treatments. Finally, treatment protocols may be specific to the treatment centre.

Standard protocols are available online at eviQ Cancer Treatments Online ( This website is powered by the Cancer Institute NSW and endorsed by Cancer Australia, and provides current, evidence based, best practice cancer treatment protocols and information. It is recommended that only regimen or protocol names listed in eviQ be used to record chemotherapy agents; in all other cases, record the full generic name of each individual chemotherapy agent for each course of treatment.

Collection methods:Help on this term

Chemotherapy agents and cycles are recorded for each course of chemotherapy administered during the course of treatment regardless of treatment intent or timing.

The data element Healthcare provider—organisation identifier, N(16) may be recorded for each treatment/cycle. It is recommended that, wherever possible, the database be configured to allow entry of different healthcare provider identifiers for each therapeutic mode/course of treatment/cycle.

The start date and completion date of chemotherapy are recorded once only for chemotherapy administered during the course of treatment.

This information should be collected from the patient's medical record.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termCancer Australia
Origin:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2010. National health data dictionary. Version 15. National health data dictionary series. Cat. no. HWI 107. Canberra: AIHW

American College of Surgeons 2002. Facility Oncology Registry Data Standards (FORDS), 2009 revision. Commission on Cancer

Standard Cancer Treatment and Management Pathways Program, Cancer Services and Education Division, eviQ Cancer Treatments Online. Cancer Institute NSW

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Cancer treatment—cancer treatment type, code N[N] Health, Standard 08/05/2014

Supersedes Chemotherapy for cancer cluster Health, Superseded 08/05/2014

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term
All attributes +

Cancer (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 14/05/2015

Parent DSS specific attributes +

Cancer (clinical) NBPDS Health, Standard 14/05/2015

Parent DSS specific attributes +

Metadata items in this Data Set SpecificationHelp on this term

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Seq No.Help on this termMetadata itemHelp on this term ObligationHelp on this term Max occursHelp on this term
-Cancer treatment—chemotherapy completion date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Cancer treatment—chemotherapy cycles administered, number of cycles N[NN]Mandatory99
-Cancer treatment—chemotherapy start date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Cancer treatment—systemic therapy agent or protocol, eviQ protocol identifier NNNNNNConditional3
-Cancer treatment—systemic therapy agent or protocol, text X[X(149)]Mandatory99
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