Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Statistical Technique Shows More Informative Picture Of Cancer Survival

Date:
January 8, 2008
Source:
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new method for presenting clinical trial survival data that includes data from all trial participants unlike the standard method, according to a commentary published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers have developed a new method for presenting clinical trial survival data that includes data from all trial participants unlike the standard method, according to a commentary published online January 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In clinical studies, "time-to-event" data represents the time from the start of a study to an event, such as disease recurrence or death. But often many participants in a study do not experience an event before the study is over, so their survival time is not known. To overcome this data gap, the standard statistical method for presenting time-to-event results, known as the Kaplan-Meier survival curve, involves plotting the proportion of individuals surviving without an event over the period of the study. Using this method, researchers get an estimate of the median survival times. However, these plots also tend to make differences in survival between groups visually appear larger than they actually are.

To address this problem, Patrick Royston, D.Sc., of the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit in London and colleagues developed a new method for plotting survival as a bar graph and tested it on data from a kidney cancer trial. In cases where a participant had not experienced an event, the researchers estimated that person's survival by using their prognosis and length of time in the trial.

Their plots show considerable overlap in survival times between treatment and control groups in the kidney cancer trial, whereas the Kaplan--Meier plots of the same data showed a distinct separation between the two groups. The authors argue that the new method gives a more realistic representation of what are usually small differences between groups.

"The method is surprisingly informative and, we hope, will help physicians and patients to understand more fully the results of clinical trials and the implications of prognostic assessments," the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, Janet Wittes, Ph.D., of Statistics Collaborative in Washington, D.C., discusses the challenges in interpreting time-to-events graphs, how this new method addresses these problems, and under what circumstances this method should be used.

"Those of us who work with time-to-event data should now attempt to extend their method to...settings other than survival," Wittes writes.

Citations:

Article: Royston P, Parmar MKB, Altman DG. Visualizing Length of Survival in Time-to-Event Studies: A Complement to Kaplan -- Meier Plots. J Natl Cancer Inst 2008; 100:92-97

Times to Event: Wittes J. Why Are They Hard to Visualize" J Natl Cancer Inst 2008; 100:80-81


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "New Statistical Technique Shows More Informative Picture Of Cancer Survival." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108183112.htm>.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (2008, January 8). New Statistical Technique Shows More Informative Picture Of Cancer Survival. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108183112.htm
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "New Statistical Technique Shows More Informative Picture Of Cancer Survival." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108183112.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Acquires 'Pandora of Books' Service BookLamp

Apple Acquires 'Pandora of Books' Service BookLamp

Newsy (July 26, 2014) Apple reportedly acquired analytics and recommendation engine BookLamp for between $10 and $15 million. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wikipedia Puts Congress in Time Out, Blocks Editing

Wikipedia Puts Congress in Time Out, Blocks Editing

Newsy (July 26, 2014) An IP address within the House of Representatives was banned from editing Wikipedia articles for 10 days after it made some questionable changes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins