Computerised Advice on Drug Dosage Decisions in Childhood Leukaemia: A Method and a Safety Strategy

  • Chris Hurt
  • John Fox
  • Jonathan Bury
  • Vaskar Saha
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2780)


Currently over 95% of children who are diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in the UK are enrolled into Medical Research Council trials. The trial protocol specifies that following initial treatment there is a 2-3 year maintenance period during which drug dosage decisions are made weekly according to a set of pre-defined rules. These rules are complex, and there is a significant frequency of error in clinical practice, which can lead to patient harm. We have built a web-based decision support system (called LISA) to address this problem. The dose alteration rules from the MRC protocol were formalised in the PROforma guideline modeling language as a state transition problem, and dose adjustment recommendations are provided into the clinical setting by a PROforma enactment engine. The design and implementation of the decision support module, the safety issues raised and the strategy adopted for resolving them are discussed. System safety is very likely to become a major professional challenge for the medical AI community and it can be addressed, in this case, with relatively straightforward techniques.


Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Childhood Leukaemia Software Fault Computerise Advice Medical Research Council Trial 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Hurt
    • 1
  • John Fox
    • 1
  • Jonathan Bury
    • 2
  • Vaskar Saha
    • 3
  1. 1.Advanced Computation LaboratoryCancer Research UKLondonUK
  2. 2.Academic Unit of PathologyUniversity of Sheffield Medical SchoolSheffieldUK
  3. 3.Children’s Cancer Group, Cancer Research UK, Dept of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Barts and the London School of Medicine and DentistryQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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