# General conditional linear models with time-dependent coefficients under censoring and truncation

Abstract (Summary)

In survival analysis interest often lies in the relationship between the survival function and a certain number of covariates. It usually happens that for some individuals we cannot observe the event of interest, due to the presence of right censoring and/or left truncation. A typical example is given by a retrospective medical study, in which one is interested in the time interval between birth and death due to a certain disease. Patients who die of the disease at early age will rarely have entered the study before death and are therefore left truncated. On the other hand, for patients who are alive at the end of the study, only a lower bound of the true survival time is known and these patients are hence right censored.
In the case of censored and/or truncated responses, lots of models exist in the literature that describe the relationship between the survival function and the covariates (proportional hazards model or Cox model, log-logistic model, accelerated failure time model, additive risks model, etc.). In these models, the regression coefficients are usually supposed to be constant over time. In practice, the structure of the data might however be more complex, and it might therefore be better to consider coefficients that can vary over time. In the previous examples, certain covariates (e.g. age at diagnosis, type of surgery, extension of tumor, etc.) can have a relatively high impact on early age survival, but a lower influence at higher age. This motivated a number of authors to extend the Cox model to allow for time-dependent coefficients or consider other type of time-dependent coefficients models like the additive hazards model.
In practice it is of great use to have at hand a method to check the validity of the above mentioned models.
First we consider a very general model, which includes as special cases the above mentioned models (Cox model, additive model, log-logistic model, linear transformation models, etc.) with time-dependent coefficients and study the parameter estimation by means of a least squares approach. The response is allowed to be subject to right censoring and/or left truncation.
Secondly we propose an omnibus goodness-of-fit test that will test if the general time-dependent model considered above fits the data. A bootstrap version, to approximate the critical values of the test is also proposed.
In this dissertation, for each proposed method, the finite sample performance is evaluated in a simulation study and then applied to a real data set.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Université catholique de Louvain

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:semiparametric regression u statistics time varying coefficients survival analysis additive hazards model bootstrap goodness of fit least squares estimator proportional

ISBN:

Date of Publication:12/19/2008