High validity of the danish national patient registry for systemic anticancer treatment registration from 2009 to 2019

Charles Vesteghem*, Rasmus Froberg Brøndum, Ursula G. Falkmer, Anton Pottegård, Laurids Østergaard Poulsen, Martin Bøgsted

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The Danish National Patient Registry is a major resource for Danish epidemiology. Only a few studies have been conducted to check the validity of the reporting of systemic anticancer treatments. In this study, we assessed this validity for a range of cancer types over a long period of time. Patients and Methods: We extracted systemic anticancer treatment procedures from the Danish National Patient Registry for patients with solid malignant tumors treated at the Department of Oncology at Aalborg University Hospital between 2009 and 2019 (12,014 patients with 215,293 drug records). These data were compared to records obtained from the antineoplastic prescription database used at the department. We estimated the sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV), and F1-score defined as the harmonic mean of the sensitivity and the PPV. Results: There was an overall high concordance between the two datasets with a sensitivity and a PPV >92%. Treatments for brain, ovarian and endometrial cancers displayed lower concordance (81–89%). The validity was stable over the study period, with a slight drop during 2016–2017. Most drugs had a high validity with F1-scores above 90%. Fluorouracil, gemcitabine, pemetrexed, pembrolizumab, and nivolumab had F1-scores above 97%. Drugs that were introduced in the study period, such as lapatinib, palbociclib, erlotinib, pertuzumab, and panitumumab, yielded lower F1-scores due to the absence of specific registry codes early after introduction. Conclusion: The Danish National Patient Registry can be used to reliably obtain information about systemic anticancer treatments, keeping in mind limitations for recently introduced drugs and for some types of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Epidemiology
Pages (from-to)1085-1094
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 24. Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Vesteghem et al.


  • Antineoplastic agents
  • Danish National Patient Registry
  • Epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Sensitivity and specificity
  • Validity


Dive into the research topics of 'High validity of the danish national patient registry for systemic anticancer treatment registration from 2009 to 2019'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this