Identifying Cancer Patients at Risk for Heart Failure Using Machine Learning Methods

1 Oct 2019  ·  Xi Yang, Yan Gong, Nida Waheed, Keith March, Jiang Bian, William R. Hogan, Yonghui Wu ·

Cardiotoxicity related to cancer therapies has become a serious issue, diminishing cancer treatment outcomes and quality of life. Early detection of cancer patients at risk for cardiotoxicity before cardiotoxic treatments and providing preventive measures are potential solutions to improve cancer patients's quality of life. This study focuses on predicting the development of heart failure in cancer patients after cancer diagnoses using historical electronic health record (EHR) data. We examined four machine learning algorithms using 143,199 cancer patients from the University of Florida Health (UF Health) Integrated Data Repository (IDR). We identified a total number of 1,958 qualified cases and matched them to 15,488 controls by gender, age, race, and major cancer type. Two feature encoding strategies were compared to encode variables as machine learning features. The gradient boosting (GB) based model achieved the best AUC score of 0.9077 (with a sensitivity of 0.8520 and a specificity of 0.8138), outperforming other machine learning methods. We also looked into the subgroup of cancer patients with exposure to chemotherapy drugs and observed a lower specificity score (0.7089). The experimental results show that machine learning methods are able to capture clinical factors that are known to be associated with heart failure and that it is feasible to use machine learning methods to identify cancer patients at risk for cancer therapy-related heart failure.

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