Bayesian semiparametric estimation of covariate-dependent ROC curves.
ABSTRACT: Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves are widely used to measure the discriminating power of medical tests and other classification procedures. In many practical applications, the performance of these procedures can depend on covariates such as age, naturally leading to a collection of curves associated with different covariate levels. This paper develops a Bayesian heteroscedastic semiparametric regression model and applies it to the estimation of covariate-dependent ROC curves. More specifically, our approach uses Gaussian process priors to model the conditional mean and conditional variance of the biomarker of interest for each of the populations under study. The model is illustrated through an application to the evaluation of prostate-specific antigen for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, which contrasts the performance of our model against alternative models.
Project description:Covariate-specific receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves are often used to evaluate the classification accuracy of a medical diagnostic test or a biomarker, when the accuracy of the test is associated with certain covariates. In many large-scale screening tests, the gold standard is subject to missingness due to high cost or harmfulness to the patient. In this article, we propose a semiparametric estimation of the covariate-specific ROC curves with a partial missing gold standard. A location-scale model is constructed for the test result to model the covariates' effect, but the residual distributions are left unspecified. Thus the baseline and link functions of the ROC curve both have flexible shapes. With the gold standard missing at random (MAR) assumption, we consider weighted estimating equations for the location-scale parameters, and weighted kernel estimating equations for the residual distributions. Three ROC curve estimators are proposed and compared, namely, imputation-based, inverse probability weighted, and doubly robust estimators. We derive the asymptotic normality of the estimated ROC curve, as well as the analytical form of the standard error estimator. The proposed method is motivated and applied to the data in an Alzheimer's disease research.
Project description:In ROC analysis, covariate adjustment is advocated when the covariates impact the magnitude or accuracy of the test under study. Meanwhile, for many large scale screening tests, the true condition status may be subject to missingness because it is expensive and/or invasive to ascertain the disease status. The complete-case analysis may end up with a biased inference, also known as "verification bias." To address the issue of covariate adjustment with verification bias in ROC analysis, we propose several estimators for the area under the covariate-specific and covariate-adjusted ROC curves (AUCx and AAUC). The AUCx is directly modeled in the form of binary regression, and the estimating equations are based on the U statistics. The AAUC is estimated from the weighted average of AUCx over the covariate distribution of the diseased subjects. We employ reweighting and imputation techniques to overcome the verification bias problem. Our proposed estimators are initially derived assuming that the true disease status is missing at random (MAR), and then with some modification, the estimators can be extended to the not missing at random (NMAR) situation. The asymptotic distributions are derived for the proposed estimators. The finite sample performance is evaluated by a series of simulation studies. Our method is applied to a data set in Alzheimer's disease research.
Project description:The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve is often used to evaluate the performance of a biomarker measured on continuous scale to predict the disease status or a clinical condition. Motivated by the need for novel study designs with better estimation efficiency and reduced study cost, we consider a biased sampling scheme that consists of a SRC and a supplemental TDC. Using this approach, investigators can oversample or undersample subjects falling into certain regions of the biomarker measure, yielding improved precision for the estimation of the ROC curve with a fixed sample size. Test-result-dependent sampling will introduce bias in estimating the predictive accuracy of the biomarker if standard ROC estimation methods are used. In this article, we discuss three approaches for analyzing data of a test-result-dependent structure with a special focus on the empirical likelihood method. We establish asymptotic properties of the empirical likelihood estimators for covariate-specific ROC curves and covariate-independent ROC curves and give their corresponding variance estimators. Simulation studies show that the empirical likelihood method yields good properties and is more efficient than alternative methods. Recommendations on number of regions, cutoff points, and subject allocation is made based on the simulation results. The proposed methods are illustrated with a data example based on an ongoing lung cancer clinical trial.
Project description:Two different approaches to analysis of data from diagnostic biomarker studies are commonly employed. Logistic regression is used to fit models for probability of disease given marker values while ROC curves and risk distributions are used to evaluate classification performance. In this paper we present a method that simultaneously accomplishes both tasks. The key step is to standardize markers relative to the non-diseased population before including them in the logistic regression model. Among the advantages of this method are: (i) ensuring that results from regression and performance assessments are consistent with each other; (ii) allowing covariate adjustment and covariate effects on ROC curves to be handled in a familiar way, and (iii) providing a mechanism to incorporate important assumptions about structure in the ROC curve into the fitted risk model. We develop the method in detail for the problem of combining biomarker datasets derived from multiple studies, populations or biomarker measurement platforms, when ROC curves are similar across data sources. The methods are applicable to both cohort and case-control sampling designs. The dataset motivating this application concerns Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) for diagnosis of prostate cancer in patients with or without previous negative biopsy where the ROC curves for PCA3 are found to be the same in the two populations. Estimated constrained maximum likelihood and empirical likelihood estimators are derived. The estimators are compared in simulation studies and the methods are illustrated with the PCA3 dataset.
Project description:In the development of risk prediction models, predictors are often measured with error. In this paper, we investigate the impact of covariate measurement error on risk prediction. We compare the prediction performance using a costly variable measured without error, along with error-free covariates, to that of a model based on an inexpensive surrogate along with the error-free covariates. We consider continuous error-prone covariates with homoscedastic and heteroscedastic errors, and also a discrete misclassified covariate. Prediction performance is evaluated by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), the Brier score (BS), and the ratio of the observed to the expected number of events (calibration). In an extensive numerical study, we show that (i) the prediction model with the error-prone covariate is very well calibrated, even when it is mis-specified; (ii) using the error-prone covariate instead of the true covariate can reduce the AUC and increase the BS dramatically; (iii) adding an auxiliary variable, which is correlated with the error-prone covariate but conditionally independent of the outcome given all covariates in the true model, can improve the AUC and BS substantially. We conclude that reducing measurement error in covariates will improve the ensuing risk prediction, unless the association between the error-free and error-prone covariates is very high. Finally, we demonstrate how a validation study can be used to assess the effect of mismeasured covariates on risk prediction. These concepts are illustrated in a breast cancer risk prediction model developed in the Nurses' Health Study.
Project description:The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve is a commonly used graphical summary of the discriminative capacity of a thresholded continuous scoring system for a binary outcome. Estimation and inference procedures for the ROC curve are well-studied in the cross-sectional setting. However, there is a paucity of research when both biomarker measurements and disease status are observed longitudinally. In a motivating example, we are interested in characterizing the value of longitudinally measured CD4 counts for predicting the presence or absence of a transient spike in HIV viral load, also time-dependent. The existing method neither appropriately characterizes the diagnostic value of observed CD4 counts nor efficiently uses status history in predicting the current spike status. We propose to jointly model the binary status as a Markov chain and the biomarkers levels, conditional on the binary status, as an autoregressive process, yielding a dynamic scoring procedure for predicting the occurrence of a spike. Based on the resulting prediction rule, we propose several natural extensions of the ROC curve to the longitudinal setting and describe procedures for statistical inference. Lastly, extensive simulations have been conducted to examine the small sample operational characteristics of the proposed methods.
Project description:Propensity score methods are an important tool to help reduce confounding in non-experimental studies and produce more accurate causal effect estimates. Most propensity score methods assume that covariates are measured without error. However, covariates are often measured with error. Recent work has shown that ignoring such error could lead to bias in treatment effect estimates. In this paper, we consider an additional complication: that of differential measurement error across treatment groups, such as can occur if a covariate is measured differently in the treatment and control groups. We propose two flexible Bayesian approaches for handling differential measurement error when estimating average causal effects using propensity score methods. We consider three scenarios: systematic (i.e., a location shift), heteroscedastic (i.e., different variances), and mixed (both systematic and heteroscedastic) measurement errors. We also explore various prior choices (i.e., weakly informative or point mass) on the sensitivity parameters related to the differential measurement error. We present results from simulation studies evaluating the performance of the proposed methods and apply these approaches to an example estimating the effect of neighborhood disadvantage on adolescent drug use disorders.