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[bioontology-support] Bioportal API & REDCap

muriel.helmers at muriel.helmers at
Thu Sep 12 05:35:06 PDT 2019

Dear Bioportal

I am contacting you with a request concerning your Bioportal API in combination with REDCap (

The CTU Bern is the Clinical Trials Unit of the University of Bern, Switzerland. We are supporting clinical researchers of different Swiss institutions, and have been running over 800 clinical studies and registries so far. We are using REDCap for most of our studies and are using the Bioportal API for ontologies.

We recently discovered that the ontology 'Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events' (CTCAE) was updated from 4.03 to 5.0.
Unfortunately the old Version, 4.03 is not accessible anymore. This is a major problem for us: The clinical research field is very regulated and sponsors of a study have to declare in their study protocol, what version of CTCAE they will be using in their study. This version should not be changed during the study as this would
a) make the analysis of the data very difficult as for some events the old ontology would have been used, for some events the new one
b) the sponsor of the study would have to inform the local ethics committee about the change in CTCAE version.

In summary, it would be of enormous help to us if the different versions of CTCAE would be accessible and also stay accessible, also after the release of a new version. I guess this issue is concerning all REDCap users using CTCAE through the Bioportal API.
If we cannot access the older versions, we will in future probably have to find another solution, e.g. implementing a solution on our own, which would be a real pity.

I would be happy to get feedback from you on the feasibility of our request. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

Best regards,
Muriel Helmers

University of Bern
CTU Bern

Muriel Helmers Walker
Head of Data Management
Mittelstrasse 43
3012 Bern
Tel          +41 31 631 34 27<>

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