Analysis and visualization of disease courses in a semantic enabled cancer registry

Angel Esteban-Gil, J. T. Fernandez-Breis, Martin Boeker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To develop a platform that incorporates the benefits of semantic Web technologies into traditional cancer registries. BACKGROUND: Cancer registries are important for research and the management of the cancer treatment. Many technological solutions are available to manage data for cancer registries nowadays, however, the lack of a well-defined common semantic model is a problem when customizable analysis and linking of data to external resources are required. METHODS: OWL ontologies and an RDF repository were employed for the transformation of a cancer registry database into a semantic enabled representation. The feasibility of the approach was tested with simulated data. RESULTS: An ontology representing the semantics of an institutional cancer registry was developed. We implemented a platform where the complex timeline of the patient's disease can be clearly represented. Moreover, the semantic structure of the representation renders it easy to analyse key figures on aggregate patient level. CONCLUSION: The presented platform is an example of the parallel development of ontologies and applications that take advantage of semantic web technologies in the medical field.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Workshop on Semantic Web Applications and Tools for Life Sciences, SWAT4LS 2014 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 9 Dec 201411 Dec 2014


  • Biomedical informatics
  • Cancer registry
  • Ontology
  • Semantic web


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