Biostatistics Weekly Seminar

Non-analytical challenges faced by a team of biostatisticians when collaborating on a large cohort study in prostate cancer

Tatsuki Koyama, PhD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

As biostatisticians in a medical research project team, we are generally responsible for data analysis. This includes creating the analysis plan, executing statistical analyses, and drafting the results. Occasionally, in a truly collaborative setting, our contributions go far beyond data analysis. We may additionally be involved in generating hypotheses, defining the endpoints, or cleaning and preparing data sets. In this talk, I will discuss the CEASAR project (Comparative Effectiveness Analysis of Surgery And Radiation), focusing on the topics and issues that are not generally discussed in a research presentation by a biostatistician.

CEASAR is an ongoing multi-site research study conducting long-term follow-up on more than 3,600 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 2010 and 2011, and has resulted in 18 publications so far. The primary findings based on the three-year follow-up data were published in March, 2017, and this talk is mainly based on this paper (Barocas et al).

In this project, a team of biostatisticians are responsible for everything associated with the data and data analysis. Data for this project came from multiple sources (patient questionnaires, medical chart abstraction, and cancer registry); the information was sometimes contradictory across data sources for some of the basic variables such as PSA (prostate specific antigen), Gleason score, treatment received, and date of treatment. Determining the treatment for each patient was the most difficult task in this project. I will present some of the issues we faced in data merging, treatment definition, missing data, and handling journal review processes.

Barocas et al. “Association between radiation therapy, surgery, or observation for localized prostate cancer and patient-reported outcomes after 3 years” JAMA, 317(11):1126-1140. 2017 PMCID: PMC5782813.

MRBIII, Room 1220
4 September 2019

Speaker Itinerary

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