Bayesian and survival model for tumor relapse status and disease-specific survival, with applications to breast cancer

2011 2011

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Abstract (summary)

Breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women in the United States. Studies on ipsilateral breast tumor relapse (IBTR) status and disease-specific survival will help guide clinic treatment and predict patient prognosis.

After breast conservation therapy, patients with breast cancer may experience breast tumor relapse. This relapse is classified into two distinct types: true local recurrence (TR) and new ipsilateral primary tumor (NP). However, the methods used to classify the relapse types are imperfect and are prone to misclassification. In addition, some observed survival data (e.g., time to relapse and time from relapse to death)are strongly correlated with relapse types. The first part of this dissertation presents a Bayesian approach to (1) modeling the potentially misclassified relapse status and the correlated survival information, (2) estimating the sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic methods, and (3) quantify the covariate effects on event probabilities. A shared frailty was used to account for the within-subject correlation between survival times. The inference was conducted using a Bayesian framework via Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation implemented in softwareWinBUGS. Simulation was used to validate the Bayesian method and assess its frequentist properties. The new model has two important innovations: (1) it utilizes the additional survival times correlated with the relapse status to improve the parameter estimation, and (2) it provides tools to address the correlation between the two diagnostic methods conditional to the true relapse types.

Prediction of patients at highest risk for IBTR after local excision of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) remains a clinical concern. The goals of the second part of this dissertation were to evaluate a published nomogram from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, to determine the risk of IBTR in patients with DCIS treated with local excision, and to determine whether there is a subset of patients at low risk of IBTR. Patients who had undergone local excision from 1990 through 2007 at MD Anderson Cancer Center with a final diagnosis of DCIS (n=794) were included in this part. Clinicopathologic factors and the performance of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center nomogram for prediction of IBTR were assessed for 734 patients with complete data. Nomogram for prediction of 5- and 10-year IBTR probabilities were found to demonstrate imperfect calibration and discrimination, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of .63 and a concordance index of .63. In conclusion, predictive models for IBTR in DCIS patients treated with local excision are imperfect. Our current ability to accurately predict recurrence based on clinical parameters is limited.

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging of breast cancer is widely used to determine prognosis, yet survival within each AJCC stage shows wide variation and remains unpredictable. For the third part of this dissertation, biologic markers were hypothesized to be responsible for some of this variation, and the addition of biologic markers to current AJCC staging were examined for possibly provide improved prognostication. The initial cohort included patients treated with surgery as first intervention at MDACC from 1997 to 2006. Cox proportional hazards models were used to create prognostic scoring systems. AJCC pathologic staging parameters and biologic tumor markers were investigated to devise the scoring systems. Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) data was used as the external cohort to validate the scoring systems. Binary indicators for pathologic stage (PS), estrogen receptor status (E), and tumor grade (G) were summed to create PS+EG scoring systems devised to predict 5-year patient outcomes. These scoring systems facilitated separation of the study population into more refined subgroups than the current AJCC staging system. The ability of the PS+EG score to stratify outcomes was confirmed in both internal and external validation cohorts. The current study proposes and validates a new staging system by incorporating tumor grade and ER status into current AJCC staging. We recommend that biologic markers be incorporating into revised versions of the AJCC staging system for patients receiving surgery as the first intervention.

Chapter 1 focuses on developing a Bayesian method to solve misclassified relapse status and application to breast cancer data. Chapter 2 focuses on evaluation of a breast cancer nomogram for predicting risk of IBTR in patients with DCIS after local excision gives the statement of the problem in the clinical research. Chapter 3 focuses on validation of a novel staging system for disease-specific survival in patients with breast cancer treated with surgery as the first intervention.

Indexing (details)

0308: Biostatistics
0992: Oncology
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Biological sciences; Breast cancer; Cancer survivors; Disease-specific survivors; Tumor relapses
Bayesian and survival model for tumor relapse status and disease-specific survival, with applications to breast cancer
Yi, Min
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Luo, Sheng; Ford, Charles E.
Committee member
Huang, Xuelin; Xiong, Momiao
The University of Texas School of Public Health
University location
United States -- Texas
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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