Bayesian Semiparametric Joint Regression Analysis of Recurrent Adverse Events and Survival in Esophageal Cancer Patients.
ABSTRACT: We propose a Bayesian semiparametric joint regression model for a recurrent event process and survival time. Assuming independent latent subject frailties, we define marginal models for the recurrent event process intensity and survival distribution as functions of the subject's frailty and baseline covariates. A robust Bayesian model, called Joint-DP, is obtained by assuming a Dirichlet process for the frailty distribution. We present a simulation study that compares posterior estimates under the Joint-DP model to a Bayesian joint model with lognormal frailties, a frequentist joint model, and marginal models for either the recurrent event process or survival time. The simulations show that the Joint-DP model does a good job of correcting for treatment assignment bias, and has favorable estimation reliability and accuracy compared with the alternative models. The Joint-DP model is applied to analyze an observational dataset from esophageal cancer patients treated with chemo-radiation, including the times of recurrent effusions of fluid to the heart or lungs, survival time, prognostic covariates, and radiation therapy modality.
Project description:Survival analysis is used in the medical field to identify the effect of predictive variables on time to a specific event. Generally, not all variation of survival time can be explained by observed covariates. The effect of unobserved variables on the risk of a patient is called frailty. In multicenter studies, the unobserved center effect can induce frailty on its patients, which can lead to selection bias over time when ignored. For this reason, it is common practice in multicenter studies to include a random frailty term modeling center effect. In a more complex event structure, more than one type of event is possible. Independent frailty variables representing center effect can be incorporated in the model for each competing event. However, in the medical context, events representing disease progression are likely related and correlation is missed when assuming frailties to be independent. In this work, an additive gamma frailty model to account for correlation between frailties in a competing risks model is proposed, to model frailties at center level. Correlation indicates a common center effect on both events and measures how closely the risks are related. Estimation of the model using the expectation-maximization algorithm is illustrated. The model is applied to a data set from a multicenter clinical trial on breast cancer from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC trial 10854). Hospitals are compared by employing empirical Bayes estimates methodology together with corresponding confidence intervals.
Project description:Recurrent event data arise frequently in various fields such as biomedical sciences, public health, engineering, and social sciences. In many instances, the observation of the recurrent event process can be stopped by the occurrence of a correlated failure event, such as treatment failure and death. In this article, we propose a joint scale-change model for the recurrent event process and the failure time, where a shared frailty variable is used to model the association between the two types of outcomes. In contrast to the popular Cox-type joint modeling approaches, the regression parameters in the proposed joint scale-change model have marginal interpretations. The proposed approach is robust in the sense that no parametric assumption is imposed on the distribution of the unobserved frailty and that we do not need the strong Poisson-type assumption for the recurrent event process. We establish consistency and asymptotic normality of the proposed semiparametric estimators under suitable regularity conditions. To estimate the corresponding variances of the estimators, we develop a computationally efficient resampling-based procedure. Simulation studies and an analysis of hospitalization data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register illustrate the performance of the proposed method.
Project description:Recurrent events could be stopped by a terminal event, which commonly occurs in biomedical and clinical studies. In this situation, dependent censoring is encountered because of potential dependence between these two event processes, leading to invalid inference if analyzing recurrent events alone. The joint frailty model is one of the widely used approaches to jointly model these two processes by sharing the same frailty term. One important assumption is that recurrent and terminal event processes are conditionally independent given the subject-level frailty; however, this could be violated when the dependency may also depend on time-varying covariates across recurrences. Furthermore, marginal correlation between two event processes based on traditional frailty modeling has no closed form solution for estimation with vague interpretation. In order to fill these gaps, we propose a novel joint frailty-copula approach to model recurrent events and a terminal event with relaxed assumptions. Metropolis-Hastings within the Gibbs Sampler algorithm is used for parameter estimation. Extensive simulation studies are conducted to evaluate the efficiency, robustness, and predictive performance of our proposal. The simulation results show that compared with the joint frailty model, the bias and mean squared error of the proposal is smaller when the conditional independence assumption is violated. Finally, we apply our method into a real example extracted from the MarketScan database to study the association between recurrent strokes and mortality.
Project description:Understanding the factors that explain differences in survival times is an important issue for establishing policies to improve national health systems. Motivated by breast cancer data arising from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program, we propose a covariate-adjusted proportional hazards frailty model for the analysis of clustered right-censored data. Rather than incorporating exchangeable frailties in the linear predictor of commonly-used survival models, we allow the frailty distribution to flexibly change with both continuous and categorical cluster-level covariates and model them using a dependent Bayesian nonparametric model. The resulting process is flexible and easy to fit using an existing R package. The application of the model to our motivating example showed that, contrary to intuition, those diagnosed during a period of time in the 1990s in more rural and less affluent Iowan counties survived breast cancer better. Additional analyses showed the opposite trend for earlier time windows. We conjecture that this anomaly has to be due to increased hormone replacement therapy treatments prescribed to more urban and affluent subpopulations.
Project description:Recurrent event data are widely encountered in clinical and observational studies. Most methods for recurrent events treat the outcome as a point process and, as such, neglect any associated event duration. This generally leads to a less informative and potentially biased analysis. We propose a joint model for the recurrent event rate (of incidence) and duration. The two processes are linked through a bivariate normal frailty. For example, when the event is hospitalization, we can treat the time to admission and length-of-stay as two alternating recurrent events. In our method, the regression parameters are estimated through a penalized partial likelihood, and the variance-covariance matrix of the frailty is estimated through a recursive estimating formula. Moreover, we develop a likelihood ratio test to assess the dependence between the incidence and duration processes. Simulation results demonstrate that our method provides accurate parameter estimation, with a relatively fast computation time. We illustrate the methods through an analysis of hospitalizations among end-stage renal disease patients.
Project description:The process by which patients experience a series of recurrent events, such as hospitalizations, may be subject to death. In cohort studies, one strategy for analyzing such data is to fit a joint frailty model for the intensities of the recurrent event and death, which estimates covariate effects on the two event types while accounting for their dependence. When certain covariates are difficult to obtain, however, researchers may only have the resources to subsample patients on whom to collect complete data: one way is using the nested case-control (NCC) design, in which risk set sampling is performed based on a single outcome. We develop a general framework for the design of NCC studies in the presence of recurrent and terminal events and propose estimation and inference for a joint frailty model for recurrence and death using data arising from such studies. We propose a maximum weighted penalized likelihood approach using flexible spline models for the baseline intensity functions. Two standard error estimators are proposed: a sandwich estimator and a perturbation resampling procedure. We investigate operating characteristics of our estimators as well as design considerations via a simulation study and illustrate our methods using two studies: one on recurrent cardiac hospitalizations in patients with heart failure and the other on local recurrence and metastasis in patients with breast cancer.
Project description:Multi-type recurrent event data occur frequently in longitudinal studies. Dependent termination may occur when the terminal time is correlated to recurrent event times. In this article, we simultaneously model the multi-type recurrent events and a dependent terminal event, both with nonparametric covariate functions modeled by B-splines. We develop a Bayesian multivariate frailty model to account for the correlation among the dependent termination and various types of recurrent events. Extensive simulation results suggest that misspecifying nonparametric covariate functions may introduce bias in parameter estimation. This method development has been motivated by and applied to the lipid-lowering trial component of the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial.
Project description:In clinical and observational studies, the event of interest can often recur on the same subject. In a more complicated situation, there exists a terminal event (e.g., death) which stops the recurrent event process. In many such instances, the terminal event is strongly correlated with the recurrent event process. We consider the recurrent/terminal event setting and model the dependence through a shared gamma frailty that is included in both the recurrent event rate and terminal event hazard functions. Conditional on the frailty, a model is specified only for the marginal recurrent event process, hence avoiding the strong Poisson-type assumptions traditionally used. Analysis is based on estimating functions that allow for estimation of covariate effects on the recurrent event rate and terminal event hazard. The method also permits estimation of the degree of association between the two processes. Closed-form asymptotic variance estimators are proposed. The proposed method is evaluated through simulations to assess the applicability of the asymptotic results in finite samples and the sensitivity of the method to its underlying assumptions. The methods can be extended in straightforward ways to accommodate multiple types of recurrent and terminal events. Finally, the methods are illustrated in an analysis of hospitalization data for patients in an international multi-center study of outcomes among dialysis patients.
Project description:We propose a novel model for hierarchical time-to-event data, for example, healthcare data in which patients are grouped by their healthcare provider. The most common model for this kind of data is the Cox proportional hazard model, with frailties that are common to patients in the same group and given a parametric distribution. We relax the parametric frailty assumption in this class of models by using a non-parametric discrete distribution. This improves the flexibility of the model by allowing very general frailty distributions and enables the data to be clustered into groups of healthcare providers with a similar frailty. A tailored Expectation-Maximization algorithm is proposed for estimating the model parameters, methods of model selection are compared, and the code is assessed in simulation studies. This model is particularly useful for administrative data in which there are a limited number of covariates available to explain the heterogeneity associated with the risk of the event. We apply the model to a clinical administrative database recording times to hospital readmission, and related covariates, for patients previously admitted once to hospital for heart failure, and we explore latent clustering structures among healthcare providers.
Project description:AIMS:Recurrent hospitalizations are a major part of the disease burden in heart failure (HF), but conventional analyses consider only the first event. We compared the effect of sacubitril/valsartan vs. enalapril on recurrent events, incorporating all HF hospitalizations and cardiovascular (CV) deaths in PARADIGM-HF, using a variety of statistical approaches advocated for this type of analysis. METHODS AND RESULTS:In PARADIGM-HF, a total of 8399 patients were randomized and followed for a median of 27?months. We applied various recurrent event analyses, including a negative binomial model, the Wei, Lin and Weissfeld (WLW), and Lin, Wei, Ying and Yang (LWYY) methods, and a joint frailty model, all adjusted for treatment and region. Among a total of 3181 primary endpoint events (including 1251 CV deaths) during the trial, only 2031 (63.8%) were first events (836 CV deaths). Among a total of 1195 patients with at least one HF hospitalization, 410 (34%) had at least one further HF hospitalization. Sacubitril/valsartan compared with enalapril reduced the risk of recurrent HF hospitalization using the negative binomial model [rate ratio (RR) 0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.67-0.89], the WLW method [hazard ratio (HR) 0.79, 95% CI 0.71-0.89], the LWYY method (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.68-0.90), and the joint frailty model (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.66-0.86) (all P <?0.001). The effect of sacubitril/valsartan vs. enalapril on recurrent HF hospitalizations/CV death was similar. CONCLUSIONS:In PARADIGM-HF, approximately one third of patients with a primary endpoint (time-to-first) experienced a further event. Compared with enalapril, sacubitril/valsartan reduced both first and recurrent events. The treatment effect size was similar, regardless of the statistical approach applied.