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Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, biotherapy or biological response modifier therapy, is cancer treatment that achieves its antitumour effect by altering the immune system or changing the host's response to the tumour cells.

The immunotherapy cluster consists of those data elements recommended for collection as best practice when the patient is administered immunotherapy as part of the course of treatment for cancer. The immunotherapy cluster collects information on the immunotherapy agent or protocol and the start and finish dates of treatment.

Information on the immunotherapy agent is required to evaluate patterns of care, the effectiveness of different treatment modalities and treatment by patient outcome. Collecting the start and finish dates will enable an estimate of the duration of immunotherapy and the time interval from diagnosis to treatment.

The use of standard definitions and formats supports the consistent collection and management of data and enables the integration of data from different sources. It provides a common language facilitating the interpretation and analysis of results, data linkage for statistical purposes, longitudinal studies and patient patterns of care and outcome studies. These results may then inform professional guidelines and training, quality assurance and the planning and evaluation of cancer control activities; potentially improving outcomes for patients.

Metadata items in this Data Set Specification

Below is a list of all the components within this Dataset Specification.
Each entry includes the item name, whether the item is optional, mandatory or conditional and the maximum times the item can occur in a dataset.
If the items must occur in a particular order in the dataset, the sequence number is included before the item name.

Data Elements
Reference Data Element Data Type Length Inclusion #
Cancer treatment—systemic therapy agent or protocol, eviQ protocol identifier NNNNNN
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on the administration of systemic therapy agents according to a prespecified regimen or protocol, and on the availability of the protocol number on the eviQ website.
String 6 conditional 3
Cancer treatment—systemic therapy agent or protocol, text X[X(149)] String 150 conditional 99


Guide for use:

Standard protocols are available online at eviQ Cancer Treatments Online ( This website is powered by the Cancer Institute NSW and endorsed by Cancer Australia, and provides current, evidence based, best practice cancer treatment protocols and information. It is recommended that only regimen or protocol names listed in eviQ be used to record immunotherapy agents; in all other cases, record the full generic name of each individual immunotherapy agent for each course of treatment.


American College of Surgeons 2002. Facility Oncology Registry Data Standards (FORDS), 2009 revision. Commission on Cancer

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010. National health data dictionary. Version 15. National health data dictionary series. Cat. no. HWI 107. Canberra: AIHW

Standard Cancer Treatment and Management Pathways Program, Cancer Services and Education Division, eviQ Cancer Treatments Online. Cancer Institute NSW

This content Based on Australian Institute of Health and Welfare material. Attribution provided as required under the AIHW CC-BY licence.

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Relation Count
As a numerator in an Indicator 0
As a denominator in an Indicator 0
As a disaggregation in an Indicator 0