AP Cunningham

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (5)21.17 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm (BOADICEA) is a risk prediction model that is used to compute probabilities of carrying mutations in the high-risk breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, and to estimate the future risks of developing breast or ovarian cancer. In this paper, we describe updates to the BOADICEA model that extend its capabilities, make it easier to use in a clinical setting and yield more accurate predictions. Methods: We describe: (1) updates to the statistical model to include cancer incidences from multiple populations; (2) updates to the distributions of tumour pathology characteristics using new data on BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and women with breast cancer from the general population; (3) improvements to the computational efficiency of the algorithm so that risk calculations now run substantially faster; and (4) updates to the model's web interface to accommodate these new features and to make it easier to use in a clinical setting. Results: We present results derived using the updated model, and demonstrate that the changes have a significant impact on risk predictions. Conclusion: All updates have been implemented in a new version of the BOADICEA web interface that is now available for general use: http://ccge.medschl.cam.ac.uk/boadicea/.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · British Journal of Cancer
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    Alex P Cunningham · Antonis C Antoniou · Douglas F Easton
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    ABSTRACT: Background In the past 20 years, society has witnessed the following landmark scientific advances: (i) the sequencing of the human genome, (ii) the distribution of software by the open source movement, and (iii) the invention of the World Wide Web. Together, these advances have provided a new impetus for clinical software development: developers now translate the products of human genomic research into clinical software tools; they use open-source programs to build them; and they use the Web to deliver them. Whilst this open-source component-based approach has undoubtedly made clinical software development easier, clinical software projects are still hampered by problems that traditionally accompany the software process. This study describes the development of the BOADICEA Web Application, a computer program used by clinical geneticists to assess risks to patients with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. The key challenge of the BOADICEA Web Application project was to deliver a program that was safe, secure and easy for healthcare professionals to use. We focus on the software process, problems faced, and lessons learned. Our key objectives are: (i) to highlight key clinical software development issues; (ii) to demonstrate how software engineering tools and techniques can facilitate clinical software development for the benefit of individuals who lack software engineering expertise; and (iii) to provide a clinical software development case report that can be used as a basis for discussion at the start of future projects. Results We developed the BOADICEA Web Application using an evolutionary software process. Our approach to Web implementation was conservative and we used conventional software engineering tools and techniques. The principal software development activities were: requirements, design, implementation, testing, documentation and maintenance. The BOADICEA Web Application has now been widely adopted by clinical geneticists and researchers. BOADICEA Web Application version 1 was released for general use in November 2007. By May 2010, we had > 1200 registered users based in the UK, USA, Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Conclusions We found that an evolutionary software process was effective when we developed the BOADICEA Web Application. The key clinical software development issues identified during the BOADICEA Web Application project were: software reliability, Web security, clinical data protection and user feedback.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple genetic loci confer susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancers. We have previously developed a model (BOADICEA) under which susceptibility to breast cancer is explained by mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, as well as by the joint multiplicative effects of many genes (polygenic component). We have now updated BOADICEA using additional family data from two UK population-based studies of breast cancer and family data from BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers identified by 22 population-based studies of breast or ovarian cancer. The combined data set includes 2785 families (301 BRCA1 positive and 236 BRCA2 positive). Incidences were smoothed using locally weighted regression techniques to avoid large variations between adjacent intervals. A birth cohort effect on the cancer risks was implemented, whereby each individual was assumed to develop cancer according to calendar period-specific incidences. The fitted model predicts that the average breast cancer risks in carriers increase in more recent birth cohorts. For example, the average cumulative breast cancer risk to age 70 years among BRCA1 carriers is 50% for women born in 1920–1929 and 58% among women born after 1950. The model was further extended to take into account the risks of male breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer, and to allow for the risk of multiple cancers. BOADICEA can be used to predict carrier probabilities and cancer risks to individuals with any family history, and has been implemented in a user-friendly Web-based program (http://www.srl.cam.ac.uk/genepi/boadicea/boadicea_home.html).
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2008 · British Journal of Cancer
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Multiple genetic loci confer susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancers. We have previously developed a model (BOADICEA) under which susceptibility to breast cancer is explained by mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, as well as by the joint multiplicative effects of many genes (polygenic component). We have now updated BOADICEA using additional family data from two UK population-based studies of breast cancer and family data from BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers identified by 22 population-based studies of breast or ovarian cancer. The combined data set includes 2785 families (301 BRCA1 positive and 236 BRCA2 positive). Incidences were smoothed using locally weighted regression techniques to avoid large variations between adjacent intervals. A birth cohort effect on the cancer risks was implemented, whereby each individual was assumed to develop cancer according to calendar period-specific incidences. The fitted model predicts that the average breast cancer risks in carriers increase in more recent birth cohorts. For example, the average cumulative breast cancer risk to age 70 years among BRCA1 carriers is 50% for women born in 1920-1929 and 58% among women born after 1950. The model was further extended to take into account the risks of male breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer, and to allow for the risk of multiple cancers. BOADICEA can be used to predict carrier probabilities and cancer risks to individuals with any family history, and has been implemented in a user-friendly Web-based program (http://www.srl.cam.ac.uk/genepi/boadicea/boadicea_home.html).
    Full-text · Article · May 2008 · British Journal of Cancer
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    AC Antoniou · P D P Pharoah · AP Cunningham · D F Easton
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    ABSTRACT: The BJC is owned by Cancer Research UK, a charity dedicated to understanding the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer and to making sure that the best new treatments reach patients in the clinic as quickly as possible. The journal reflects these aims. It was founded more than fifty years ago and, from the start, its far-sighted mission was to encourage communication of the very best cancer research from laboratories and clinics in all countries. The breadth of its coverage, its editorial independence and it consistent high standards, have made BJC one of the world's premier general cancer journals. Its increasing popularity is reflected by a steadily rising impact factor.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2005 · British Journal of Cancer