Data linkage to improve geriatric oncology research: A feasibility study

Academic Article


  • Older adults (aged 65 years and older) diagnosed with cancer account for most cancer-related morbidity and mortality in the United States but are often underrepresented on clinical trials. Recent attention froma variety of professional, research, regulatory, and patient advocacy groups has centered on data linkage and data sharing as a means to capture patient information and outcomes outside of clinical trials to accelerate progress in the fight against cancer. The development of amore robust observational research data infrastructure would help to address gaps in the evidence base regarding optimal approaches to treating cancer among the growing and complex population of older adults. To demonstrate the feasibility of building such a resource, we linked information from a sample of older adults with cancer in North Carolina using three distinct, but complementary, data sources: (a) the Carolina Senior Registry, (b) the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry, and (c) North Carolina fee-for-service Medicare claims data. A description of the linkage process, metrics, and characteristics of the final cohort is reported. This study highlights the potential for data linkage to improve the characterization of health status among older adults with cancer and the possibility to conduct passive follow-up for outcomes of interest over time. Extensions of these linkage efforts in partnership with other institutions will enhance our ability to generate evidence that can inform the management of older adults with cancer.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lund JL; Meyer AM; Deal AM; Choi BJ; Chang Y; Williams GR; Pergolotti M; Guerard EJ; Muss HB; Sanoff HK
  • Start Page

  • 1002
  • End Page

  • 1005
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 8