Journal Articles

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Statistics in Medicine


Incorporating promising biomarkers into cancer screening practices for early-detection is increasingly appealing because of the unsatisfactory performance of current cancer screening strategies. The matched case-control design is commonly adopted in biomarker development studies to evaluate the discriminative power of biomarker candidates, with an intention to eliminate confounding effects. Data from matched case-control studies have been routinely analyzed by the conditional logistic regression, although the assumed logit link between biomarker combinations and disease risk may not always hold. We propose a conditional concordance-assisted learning method, which is distribution-free, for identifying an optimal combination of biomarkers to discriminate cases and controls. We are particularly interested in combinations with a clinically and practically meaningful specificity to prevent disease-free subjects from unnecessary and possibly intrusive diagnostic procedures, which is a top priority for cancer population screening. We establish asymptotic properties for the derived combination and confirm its favorable finite sample performance in simulations. We apply the proposed method to the prostate cancer data from the carotene and retinol efficacy trial (CARET).


Male, Humans, Early Detection of Cancer, Biomarkers, Vitamin A, Carotenoids, Prostatic Neoplasms, Case-Control Studies, Biomarkers, Tumor

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