Machine learning to guide the use of adjuvant therapies for breast cancer

Ahmed M. Alaa, Deepti Gurdasani, Adrian L. Harris, Jem Rashbass, Mihaela van der Schaar*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Accurate prediction of the individualized survival benefit of adjuvant therapy is key to making informed therapeutic decisions for patients with early invasive breast cancer. Machine learning technologies can enable accurate prognostication of patient outcomes under different treatment options by modelling complex interactions between risk factors in a data-driven fashion. Here, we use an automated and interpretable machine learning algorithm to develop a breast cancer prognostication and treatment benefit prediction model—Adjutorium—using data from large-scale cohorts of nearly one million women captured in the national cancer registries of the United Kingdom and the United States. We trained and internally validated the Adjutorium model on 395,862 patients from the UK National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), and then externally validated the model among 571,635 patients from the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) programme. Adjutorium exhibited significantly improved accuracy compared to the major prognostic tool in current clinical use (PREDICT v2.1) in both internal and external validation. Importantly, our model substantially improved accuracy in specific subgroups known to be under-served by existing models. Adjutorium is currently implemented as a web-based decision support tool ( to aid decisions on adjuvant therapy in women with early breast cancer, and can be publicly accessed by patients and clinicians worldwide.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)716-726
    Number of pages11
    JournalNature Machine Intelligence
    Issue number8
    Early online date24 Jun 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information: No Funding Information.

    Open Access: No Open Access licence.

    Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

    Citation: Alaa, A.M., Gurdasani, D., Harris, A.L. et al. Machine learning to guide the use of adjuvant therapies for breast cancer. Nat Mach Intell 3, 716–726 (2021).



    Dive into the research topics of 'Machine learning to guide the use of adjuvant therapies for breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this