Common Model Inputs Used in CISNET Collaborative Breast Cancer Modeling

Med Decis Making. 2018 Apr;38(1_suppl):9S-23S. doi: 10.1177/0272989X17700624.


Background: Since their inception in 2000, the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Network (CISNET) breast cancer models have collaborated to use a nationally representative core of common input parameters to represent key components of breast cancer control in each model. Employment of common inputs permits greater ability to compare model output than when each model begins with different input parameters. The use of common inputs also enhances inferences about the results, and provides a range of reasonable results based on variations in model structure, assumptions, and methods of use of the input values. The common input data are updated for each analysis to ensure that they reflect the most current practice and knowledge about breast cancer. The common core of parameters includes population rates of births and deaths; age- and cohort-specific temporal rates of breast cancer incidence in the absence of screening and treatment; effects of risk factors on incidence trends; dissemination of plain film and digital mammography; screening test performance characteristics; stage or size distribution of screen-, interval-, and clinically- detected tumors by age; the joint distribution of ER/HER2 by age and stage; survival in the absence of screening and treatment by stage and molecular subtype; age-, stage-, and molecular subtype-specific therapy; dissemination and effectiveness of therapies over time; and competing non-breast cancer mortality.

Method and results: In this paper, we summarize the methods and results for the common input values presently used in the CISNET breast cancer models, note assumptions made because of unobservable phenomena and/or unavailable data, and highlight plans for the development of future parameters.

Conclusion: These data are intended to enhance the transparency of the breast CISNET models.

Keywords: breast cancer epidemiology; cancer simulation; simulation models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Censuses
  • Computer Simulation
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Mammography
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents