Ontology for Colon Carcinoma

Anand Kumar, Yum Lina Yip, Barry Smith, Pierre Grenon, “Bridging the Gap between Medical and Bioinformatics: An Ontological Case Study in Colon Carcinoma”, Computers in Biology and Medicine, in press.

Ontological principles are needed in order to bridge the gap between medical and biological information in a robust and computable fashion. This is essential in order to draw inferences across the levels of granularity which span medicine and biology, an example of which include the understanding of the roles of tumor markers in the development and progress of carcinoma. Such information integration is also important for the integration of genomics information with the information contained in the electronic patient records in such a way that real time conclusions can be drawn. In this paper we describe a large multi-granular datasource built by using ontological principles and focusing on the case of colon carcinoma.

Anand Kumar and Barry Smith, “Oncology Ontology in the NCI Thesaurus”, AIME 2005 (Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Europe), (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3581), 213–220.

The National Cancer Institute’s Thesaurus (NCIT) has been created with the goal of providing a controlled vocabulary which can be used by specialists in the various sub-domains of oncology. It is intended to be used for purposes of annotation in ways designed to ensure the integration of data and information deriving from these various sub-domains, and thus to support more powerful cross-domain inferences. In order to evaluate its suitability for this purpose, we examined the NCIT’s treatment of the kinds of entities which are fundamental to an ontology of colon carcinoma. We here describe the problems we uncovered concerning classification, synonymy, relations and definitions, and we draw conclusions for the work needed to establish the NCIT as a reference ontology for the cancer domain in the future.

Anand Kumar, Y. Lina Yip, Barry Smith, Dirk Marwede, Daniel Novotny, “An Ontology for Carcinoma Classification for Clinical Bioinformatics”, Medical Informatics Europe (MIE 2005), Geneva, 635–640.

There are a number of existing classifications and staging schemes for carcinomas, one of the most frequently used being the TNM classification. Such classifications represent classes of entities which exist at various anatomical levels of granularity. We argue that in order to apply such representations to the Electronic Health Records one needs sound ontologies which take into consideration the diversity of the domains which are involved in clinical bioinformatics. Here we outline a formal theory for addressing these issues in a way that the ontologies can be used to support inferences relating to entities which exist at different anatomical levels of granularity. Our case study is the colon carcinoma, one of the most common carcinomas prevalent within the European population.