Case Study 10:
Joinpoint Regression Program

Joinpoint is a Windows based statistical software package used to identify and analyze trends of cancer rates. It’s a crucial software tool for cancer study and for the dissemination of cancer status of US. Every year, National Cancer Institute (NCI) uses it for preparation of the “Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer” and the annual Cancer Statistics Review (CSR) for the program of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER), which are essential for U.S. public and policy makers to evaluate cancer status. Consultants of DigitCompass LLC served as the leading statistician of the joinpoint program team and managing this cross-functional project. There are three objectives in this project: developing and maintaining the joinpoint regression software, researching new methodologies for analyzing trends of cancer rates of US, and preparing data products used in NCI publications (for instance, CSR). The software is publicly available and widely used in applied-statistical study by researchers in more than 150 countries.

The Joinpoint regression software got updated with new methods and improved user interface periodically. The most recent research work for this program were published and implemented. for “Multiple group clustering”, “Clustering of trend data using Joinpoint regression models”, Statistics in Medicine, and for “Empirical Simulation Method”, ‘Improved Confidence Interval for Average Annual Percent Change in Trend Analysis’ Statistics in Medicine, April 2017. Our consultants were in charge of validating the development data of the Joinpoint Regression Model extracted from SEER databases on NCI servers, leading the efforts of research of new methodologies (for example, the method of “Multiple group clustering” and “Empirical Simulation Method”), leading the efforts of maintaining and improving the statistical calculation engine of the software, oversight of the implementation of the new methods, oversight of creating and maintaining software documentation, and preparing and delivering presentations to senior NCI officers about the methodology and usage of the software. The research work for this program were published.