Free access to Research Synthesis Methods paper on meta-analysis of prognostic studies

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  • Author: Statistics Views, Eiji Sadashima, Satoshi Hattori, Kunihiko Takahashi
  • Date: 12 September 2016
  • Copyright: © John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Each week, we select a recently published article and provide free access. This week's is from Research Synthesis Methods and is available from Early View.

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Meta-analysis of prognostic studies for a biomarker with a study-specific cutoff value

Eiji Sadashima, Satoshi Hattori, Kunihiko Takahashi

Research Synthesis Methods, Early View

DOI: 10.1002/jrsm.1201

thumbnail image: Free access to Research Synthesis Methods paper on meta-analysis of prognostic studies

In prognostic studies, a summary statistic such as a hazard ratio is often reported between low-expression and high-expression groups of a biomarker with a study-specific cutoff value. Recently, several meta-analyses of prognostic studies have been reported, but these studies simply combined hazard ratios provided by the individual studies, overlooking the fact that the cutoff values are study-specific. The authors of this paper propose a method to summarize hazard ratios with study-specific cutoff values by estimating the hazard ratio for a 1-unit change of the biomarker in the underlying individual-level model. To this end, they introduce a model for a relationship between a reported log-hazard ratio for a 1-unit expected difference in the mean biomarker value between the low-expression and high-expression groups, which approximates the individual-level model, and propose to make an inference of the model by using the method for trend estimation based on grouped exposure data. Their combined estimator provides a valid interpretation if the biomarker distribution is correctly specified. The authors applied their proposed method to a dataset that examined the association between the biomarker Ki-67 and disease-free survival in breast cancer patients.

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