Large data sets like SEER need better quality control checks and researchers and clinicians who use these data sets should also consider using secondary data analyses that answer specific research questions. This is the advice of a senior urologist following the removal of the PSA data.
A recent quality control check by the National Cancer institute (NCI) of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) and SEER-Medicare programs found that a significant number of these values were incorrect. Subsequently, NCI removed these PSA values from the data sets. A urologist at Vanderbilt University, David F. Penson, MD, MPH, has contributed an editorial in The Journal of Urology, which explores the ramifications of this elimination for research scientists, clinicians, and healthcare administrators who depend on these data sets to make healthcare decisions. Additionally, Dr Penson encourages researchers to collect primary data and create sub-group data sets to fill-in some of the data gaps that huge data sets like SEER have.
Read the report on ScienceDaily: http://bit.ly/1FreYVr