1 MRC Biostatistics Unit

Cambridge, United States

1 MRC Biostatistics Unit

Cambridge, United States

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PubMed | 1 MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cancer Research UK Research Institute, 4 Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Center and Cambridge Biomedical Research Center, 6 Cambridge Biomedical Research Center and University of Cambridge
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Statistical methods in medical research | Year: 2014

As data-rich medical datasets are becoming routinely collected, there is a growing demand for regression methodology that facilitates variable selection over a large number of predictors. Bayesian variable selection algorithms offer an attractive solution, whereby a sparsity inducing prior allows inclusion of sets of predictors simultaneously, leading to adjusted effect estimates and inference of which covariates are most important. We present a new implementation of Bayesian variable selection, based on a Reversible Jump MCMC algorithm, for survival analysis under the Weibull regression model. A realistic simulation study is presented comparing against an alternative LASSO-based variable selection strategy in datasets of up to 20,000 covariates. Across half the scenarios, our new method achieved identical sensitivity and specificity to the LASSO strategy, and a marginal improvement otherwise. Runtimes were comparable for both approaches, taking approximately a day for 20,000 covariates. Subsequently, we present a real data application in which 119 protein-based markers are explored for association with breast cancer survival in a case cohort of 2287 patients with oestrogen receptor-positive disease. Evidence was found for three independent prognostic tumour markers of survival, one of which is novel. Our new approach demonstrated the best specificity.


PubMed | 1 MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Bath and University of Warwick
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Statistical methods in medical research | Year: 2014

Multi-arm multi-stage trials can improve the efficiency of the drug development process when multiple new treatments are available for testing. A group-sequential approach can be used in order to design multi-arm multi-stage trials, using an extension to Dunnetts multiple-testing procedure. The actual sample size used in such a trial is a random variable that has high variability. This can cause problems when applying for funding as the cost will also be generally highly variable. This motivates a type of design that provides the efficiency advantages of a group-sequential multi-arm multi-stage design, but has a fixed sample size. One such design is the two-stage drop-the-losers design, in which a number of experimental treatments, and a control treatment, are assessed at a prescheduled interim analysis. The best-performing experimental treatment and the control treatment then continue to a second stage. In this paper, we discuss extending this design to have more than two stages, which is shown to considerably reduce the sample size required. We also compare the resulting sample size requirements to the sample size distribution of analogous group-sequential multi-arm multi-stage designs. The sample size required for a multi-stage drop-the-losers design is usually higher than, but close to, the median sample size of a group-sequential multi-arm multi-stage trial. In many practical scenarios, the disadvantage of a slight loss in average efficiency would be overcome by the huge advantage of a fixed sample size. We assess the impact of delay between recruitment and assessment as well as unknown variance on the drop-the-losers designs.

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