The Open Medical Informatics Journal


ISSN: 1874-4311 ― Volume 13, 2019

The Integrated Proactive Surveillance System for Prostate Cancer

Haibin Wang*, 1, Mahendra Yatawara 1, Shao-Chi Huang 1, Kevin Dudley 1, Christine Szekely 2, Stuart Holden 3, Steven Piantadosi 4
1 Research Informatics Core, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
2 Clinical Research Office, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
3 Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
4 Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA


In this paper, we present the design and implementation of the integrated proactive surveillance system for prostate cancer (PASS-PC). The integrated PASS-PC is a multi-institutional web-based system aimed at collecting a variety of data on prostate cancer patients in a standardized and efficient way. The integrated PASS-PC was commissioned by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and built through the joint of efforts by a group of experts in medical oncology, genetics, pathology, nutrition, and cancer research informatics. Their main goal is facilitating the efficient and uniform collection of critical demographic, lifestyle, nutritional, dietary and clinical information to be used in developing new strategies in diagnosing, preventing and treating prostate cancer.

The integrated PASS-PC is designed based on common industry standards – a three tiered architecture and a Service- Oriented Architecture (SOA). It utilizes open source software and programming languages such as HTML, PHP, CSS, JQuery, Drupal and MySQL. We also use a commercial database management system – Oracle 11g. The integrated PASS-PC project uses a “confederation model” that encourages participation of any interested center, irrespective of its size or location. The integrated PASS-PC utilizes a standardized approach to data collection and reporting, and uses extensive validation procedures to prevent entering erroneous data. The integrated PASS-PC controlled vocabulary is harmonized with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Thesaurus. Currently, two cancer centers in the USA are participating in the integrated PASS-PC project.

The final system has three main components: 1. National Prostate Surveillance Network (NPSN) website; 2. NPSN myConnect portal; 3. Proactive Surveillance System for Prostate Cancer (PASS-PC). PASS-PC is a cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) compatible product. The integrated PASS-PC provides a foundation for collaborative prostate cancer research. It has been built to meet the short term goal of gathering prostate cancer related data, but also with the prerequisites in place for future evolution into a cancer research informatics platform. In the future this will be vital for successful prostate cancer studies, care and treatment.

Keywords: Cancer research informatics, service-oriented architecture, prostate cancer, proactive surveillance, multi-center clinical data database, caBIG.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2012
Volume: 6
First Page: 1
Last Page: 8
Publisher Id: TOMINFOJ-6-1
DOI: 10.2174/1874431101206010001

Article History:

Received Date: 5/12/2011
Revision Received Date: 31/1/2012
Acceptance Date: 16/2/2012
Electronic publication date: 2/3/2012
Collection year: 2012

© Wang et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Research Informatics Core, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, 90048, USA; Tel: (01)310-423-3315; Fax: (01)310-423-4020; E-mail:

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