Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bayesian analysis of a disability model for lung cancer survival

Armero, Cabras, Castellanos, Perra, Quirós, Oruezábal and Sánchez-Rubio have a new paper in Statistical Methods in Medical Research. This develops a Bayesian three-state illness-death type model to the progression and survival of lung cancer patients. The data considered are assumed to be complete up to right censoring (in reality there may be some interval censoring but the authors argue the patients can be considered `quasi-continuously' followed. A Weibull semi-Markov model is assumed for the transition intensities and covariates are accommodated via an accelerated failure time model (it's worth noting that for a Weibull distribution the proportional hazard and accelerated failure time models are equivalent up to reparameterization). A feature of the dataset used is the rather small sample size (35 patients) which is perhaps the strongest reason for taking a parametric and Bayesian approach in this case.

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