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Estimating the risk of relapse for breast cancer patients is necessary, since it affects the choice of treatment. This problem involves analysing data of times to relapse of patients and relating them to prognostic variables. Some of the times to relapse will usually be censored. We investigate various ways of using neural network models to extend traditional statistical models in this situation. Such models are better able to model both non-linear effects of prognostic factors and interactions between them, than linear logistic or Cox regression models. With the dataset used in our study, however, the prediction of the risk of relapse is not significantly improved when using a neural network model. Predicting the risk that a patient will relapse within three years, say, is possible from this data, but not when any relapse will happen.

Original publication




Journal article


Neural Computing and Applications

Publication Date





367 - 375