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Knowledge graphs have become a common approach for knowledge representation. Yet, the application of graph methodology is elusive due to the sheer number and complexity of knowledge sources. In addition, semantic incompatibilities hinder efforts to harmonize and integrate across these diverse sources. As part of The Biomedical Translator Consortium, we have developed a knowledge graph–based question-answering system designed to augment human reasoning and accelerate translational scientific discovery: the Translator system. We have applied the Translator system to answer biomedical questions in the context of a broad array of diseases and syndromes, including Fanconi anemia, primary ciliary dyskinesia, multiple sclerosis, and others. A variety of collaborative approaches have been used to research and develop the Translator system. One recent approach involved the establishment of a monthly “Question-of-the-Month (QotM) Challenge” series. Herein, we describe the structure of the QotM Challenge; the six challenges that have been conducted to date on drug-induced liver injury, cannabidiol toxicity, coronavirus infection, diabetes, psoriatic arthritis, and ATP1A3-related phenotypes; the scientific insights that have been gleaned during the challenges; and the technical issues that were identified over the course of the challenges and that can now be addressed to foster further development of the prototype Translator system. We close with a discussion on Large Language Models such as ChatGPT and highlight differences between those models and the Translator system.
Randomized clinical trials (RCT) are the foundation for medical advances, but participant recruitment remains a persistent barrier to their success. This retrospective data analysis aims to (1) identify clinical trial features associated with successful participant recruitment measured by accrual percentage and (2) compare the characteristics of the RCTs by assessing the most and least successful recruitment, which are indicated by varying thresholds of accrual percentage such as ≥ 90% vs ≤ 10%, ≥ 80% vs ≤ 20%, and ≥ 70% vs ≤ 30%.
Data from the internal research registry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Aggregated Analysis of ClinicalTrials.gov were collected for 393 randomized interventional treatment studies closed to further enrollment. We compared two regularized linear regression and six tree-based machine learning models for accrual percentage (i.e., reported accrual to date divided by the target accrual) prediction. The outperforming model and Tree SHapley Additive exPlanations were used for feature importance analysis for participant recruitment. The identified features were compared between the two subgroups.
CatBoost regressor outperformed the others. Key features positively associated with recruitment success, as measured by accrual percentage, include government funding and compensation. Meanwhile, cancer research and non-conventional recruitment methods (e.g., websites) are negatively associated with recruitment success. Statistically significant subgroup differences (corrected p-value < .05) were found in 15 of the top 30 most important features.
This multi-source retrospective study highlighted key features influencing RCT participant recruitment, offering actionable steps for improvement, including flexible recruitment infrastructure and appropriate participant compensation.
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