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This paper analyzes the survival of breast cancer patients, exploring the role of a metastasis variable in combination with clinical and gene expression variables. We use the hypertabastic model in a detailed analysis of 295 breast cancer patients from the Netherlands Cancer Institute given in.1 In comparison to Cox regression the increase in accuracy is complemented by the ability to analyze the time course of the disease progression using the explicitly described hazard and survival curves. We also demonstrate the ability to compute deciles for survival and probability of survival to a given time. Our primary concern in this article is the introduction of a variable representing the existence of metastasis and the effects on the other clinical and gene expression variables. In addition to making a quantitative assessment of the impact of metastasis on the prospects for survival, we are able to look at its interactions with the other prognostic variables. The estrogen receptor status increase in importance, while the significance of the gene expression variables used in the combined model diminishes. When considering only the subgroup of patients who experienced metastasis, the covariates in the model are only the clinical variables for estrogen receptor status and tumor grade.
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