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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 65
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Sunday, July 29, 2012 : 4:00 PM to 5:50 PM
Sponsor: Biometrics Section
Abstract - #304471
Title: The Optimal Sampling Ratios in Comparative Diagnostic Trials
Author(s): Liansheng Tang*+
Companies: George Mason University
Address: Department of Statistics, Fairfax, VA, 22030, United States
Keywords: ROC ; pilot data ; two-stage

We derive optimal sampling ratios in comparative diagnostic trials which are frequently employed to compare two markers with continuous or ordinal results. We derive explicit expressions for the optimal sampling ratio based on a common variance structure shared by existing summary statistics of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Estimating the optimal ratio requires either pilot data or parametric model assumptions; however, pilot data are often unavailable at the planning stage of diagnostic trials. In the absence of pilot data, some distributions have to be assumed for carrying out the calculation. An optimal ratio from an incorrect distributional assumption may lead to an underpowered study. We propose a two-stage procedure to adaptively estimate the optimal ratio in comparative diagnostic trials without pilot data or assuming parametric distributions. We illustrate the properties of the proposed method through theoretical proofs and extensive simulation studies. We use an example in cancer diagnostic studies to illustrate the application of our method. We find that our method increases the power, or reduces the required overall sample size dramatically.

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