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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 359634, 7 pages
Research Article

Identifying the Association Rules between Clinicopathologic Factors and Higher Survival Performance in Operation-Centric Oral Cancer Patients Using the Apriori Algorithm

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2Department of Radiation Oncology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3Cancer Center, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
4Department of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Research, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
6Department of Electronic Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
7Department of Biomedical Science and Environmental Biology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Received 17 May 2013; Accepted 30 June 2013

Academic Editor: Tsair-Fwu Lee

Copyright © 2013 Jen-Yang Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study computationally determines the contribution of clinicopathologic factors correlated with 5-year survival in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients primarily treated by surgical operation (OP) followed by other treatments. From 2004 to 2010, the program enrolled 493 OSCC patients at the Kaohsiung Medical Hospital University. The clinicopathologic records were retrospectively reviewed and compared for survival analysis. The Apriori algorithm was applied to mine the association rules between these factors and improved survival. Univariate analysis of demographic data showed that grade/differentiation, clinical tumor size, pathology tumor size, and OP grouping were associated with survival longer than 36 months. Using the Apriori algorithm, multivariate correlation analysis identified the factors that coexistently provide good survival rates with higher lift values, such as grade/differentiation = 2, clinical stage group = early, primary site = tongue, and group = OP. Without the OP, the lift values are lower. In conclusion, this hospital-based analysis suggests that early OP and other treatments starting from OP are the key to improving the survival of OSCC patients, especially for early stage tongue cancer with moderate differentiation, having a better survival (>36 months) with varied OP approaches.