Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Bayesian survival analysis.
Author: Abrams, Keith Rowland.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 1992
Availability of Full Text:
Access through EThOS:
In cancer research the efficacy of a new treatment is often assessed by means of a clinical trial. In such trials the outcome measure of interest is usually time to death from entry into the study. The time to intermediate events may also be of interest, for example time to the spread of the disease to other organs (metastases). Thus, cancer clinical trials can be seen to generate multi-state data, in which patients may be in anyone of a finite number of states at a particular time. The classical analysis of data from cancer clinical trials uses a survival regression model. This type of model allows for the fact that patients in the trial will have been observed for different lengths of time and for some patients the time to the event of interest will not be observed (censored). The regression structure means that a measure of treatment effect can be obtained after allowing for other important factors. Clinical trials are not conducted in isolation, but are part of an on-going learning process. In order to assess the current weight of evidence for the use of a particular treatment a Bayesian approach is necessary. Such an approach allows for the formal inclusion of prior information, either in the form of clinical expertise or the results from previous studies, into the statistical analysis. An initial Bayesian analysis, for a single non-recurrent event, can be performed using non-temporal models that consider the occurrence of events up to a specific time from entry into the study. Although these models are conceptually simple, they do not explicitly allow for censoring or covariates. In order to address both of these deficiencies a Bayesian fully parametric multiplicative intensity regression model is developed. The extra complexity of this model means that approximate integration techniques are required. Asymptotic Laplace approximations and the more computer intensive Gauss-Hermite quadrature are shown to perform well and yield virtually identical results. By adopting counting process notation the multiplicative intensity model is extended to the multi-state scenario quite easily. These models are used in the analysis of a cancer clinical trial to assess the efficacy of neutron therapy compared to standard photon therapy for patients with cancer of the pelvic region. In this trial there is prior information both in the form of clinical prior beliefs and results from previous studies. The usefulness of multi-state models is also demonstrated in the analysis of a pilot quality of life study. Bayesian multi-state models are shown to provide a coherent framework for the analysis of clinical studies, both interventionist and observational, yielding clinically meaningful summaries about the current state of knowledge concerning the disease/treatment process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cancer survival analysis Mathematical statistics Operations research Medicine