Merging person-specific bio-markers for predicting oral cancer recurrence through an ontology

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2013 Jan;60(1):216-20. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2012.2216879. Epub 2012 Aug 31.


One of the major problems related to cancer treatment is its recurrence. Without knowing in advance how likely the cancer will relapse, clinical practice usually recommends adjuvant treatments that have strong side effects. A way to optimize treatments is to predict the recurrence probability by analyzing a set of bio-markers. The NeoMark European project has identified a set of preliminary bio-markers for the case of oral cancer by collecting a large series of data from genomic, imaging, and clinical evidence. This heterogeneous set of data needs a proper representation in order to be stored, computed, and communicated efficiently. Ontologies are often considered the proper mean to integrate biomedical data, for their high level of formality and for the need of interoperable, universally accepted models. This paper presents the NeoMark system and how an ontology has been designed to integrate all its heterogeneous data. The system has been validated in a pilot in which data will populate the ontology and will be made public for further research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Biomarkers, Tumor