The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-017-0430-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Investigating the impact of a time-dependent intervention on the probability of long-term survival is statistically challenging. A typical example is stem-cell transplantation performed after successful donor identification from registered donors. Here, a suggested simple analysis based on the exogenous donor availability status according to registered donors would allow the estimation and comparison of survival probabilities. As donor search is usually ceased after a patient’s event, donor availability status is incompletely observed, so that this simple comparison is not possible and the waiting time to donor identification needs to be addressed in the analysis to avoid bias. It is methodologically unclear, how to directly address cumulative long-term treatment effects without relying on proportional hazards while avoiding waiting time bias.
The pseudo-value regression technique is able to handle the first two issues; a novel generalisation of this technique also avoids waiting time bias. Inverse-probability-of-censoring weighting is used to account for the partly unobserved exogenous covariate donor availability.
Simulation studies demonstrate unbiasedness and satisfying coverage probabilities of the new method. A real data example demonstrates that study results based on generalised pseudo-values have a clear medical interpretation which supports the clinical decision making process.
The proposed generalisation of the pseudo-value regression technique enables to compare survival probabilities between two independent groups where group membership becomes known over time and remains partly unknown. Hence, cumulative long-term treatment effects are directly addressed without relying on proportional hazards while avoiding waiting time bias.
Additional file 1: Section A. Properties of the 1 → 2 pseudo-value. Section B. Waiting time distribution in patients with a donor. Section C. Generation of simulated data. Section D. Software implementation (PDF 396 kb)12874_2017_430_MOESM1_ESM.pdf
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- Assessing the effect of a partly unobserved, exogenous, binary time-dependent covariate on survival probabilities using generalised pseudo-values
Maria Grazia Valsecchi
- BioMed Central
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