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Other Seminar Series


General Departmental Seminar Series

Competing Risks Analysis of Clinical Trials for Early Stage Cancer

James Dignam, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago

Friday, November 14, 2003, 12-1 p.m.

K6/124 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Ave.


In research involving the development of treatment strategies for early stage cancer, competing risks issues are nearly always encountered. For example, women undergoing surgery followed by additional treatments (radiotherapy, chemotherapy) for early stage breast cancer may remain event-free or experience any one of the following: recurrence at or near the removed tumor, recurrence at other anatomic sites, occurrence of a tumor in the opposite breast, occurrence of other types of cancer, or death from non-cancer causes prior to these events. In this talk, I will illustrate some straightforward statistical methods that we typically use for competing risks analysis of outcomes following cancer treatment, using data examples arising from the conduct of breast and colorectal cancer clinical trials. I will also briefly discuss a more challenging related problem involving situations in which some individuals may be observed for multiple events while for others the competing risks condition holds.

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