A Test Collection for Matching Patients to Clinical Trials

2016 | The 39th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research & Development in Information Retrieval
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We present a test collection to study the use of search engines for matching eligible patients (the query) to clinical trials (the document). Clinical trials are experiments conducted in the development of new medical treatments, drugs or devices. Recruiting candidates for a trial is often a time-consuming and resource intensive effort, and imposes delays or even the cancellation of trials.

The collection described in this paper provides: i) a large corpus of clinical trials; ii) 60 patient case reports used as topics; iii) multiple query representations for a single topic (long, short and ad-hoc); iv) a user provided estimate of how many trials they expect each patient topic would be eligible for; and v) relevance assessments by medical professionals. The availability of such a collection allows researchers to investigate, among other questions: i) the effectiveness of retrieval methods for this task, ii) how multiple representations of an information affect retrieval iii) what influences relevance assessments in this context, iv) whether automated matching of patients to trials improves patient recruitment. The collection is available at http://doi.org/10.4225/08/5714557510C17.