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INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. Risk prediction models may be useful to guide risk-reducing interventions (such as pharmacological agents) in women at increased risk or inform screening strategies for early detection methods such as screening. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study will use data for women aged 20-90 years between 2000 and 2020 from QResearch linked at the individual level to hospital episodes, cancer registry and death registry data. It will evaluate a set of modelling approaches to predict the risk of developing breast cancer within the next 10 years, the 'combined' risk of developing a breast cancer and then dying from it within 10 years, and the risk of breast cancer mortality within 10 years of diagnosis. Cox proportional hazards, competing risks, random survival forest, deep learning and XGBoost models will be explored. Models will be developed on the entire dataset, with 'apparent' performance reported, and internal-external cross-validation used to assess performance and geographical and temporal transportability (two 10-year time periods). Random effects meta-analysis will pool discrimination and calibration metric estimates from individual geographical units obtained from internal-external cross-validation. We will then externally validate the models in an independent dataset. Evaluation of performance heterogeneity will be conducted throughout, such as exploring performance across ethnic groups. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval was granted by the QResearch scientific committee (reference number REC 18/EM/0400: OX129). The results will be written up for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

Publication Date





breast tumours, public health, statistics & research methods