Prostate cancer: net survival and cause-specific survival rates after multiple imputation
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Abstract Background Estimations of survival rates are diverse and the choice of the appropriate method depends on the context. Given the increasing interest in multiple imputation methods, we explored the interest of a multiple imputation approach in the estimation of cause-specific survival, when a subset of causes of death was observed. Methods By using European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), 20 multiply imputed datasets were created and analyzed with a Multivariate Imputation by Chained Equation (MICE) algorithm. Then, cause-specific survival was estimated on each dataset with two methods: Kaplan-Meier and competing risks. The two pooled cause-specific survival and confidence intervals were obtained using Rubin’s rules after complementary log-log transformation. Net survival was estimated using Pohar-Perme’s estimator and was compared to pooled cause-specific survival. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was performed to test the robustness of our constructed multiple imputation model. Results Cause-specific survival performed better than net survival, since this latter exceeded 100 % for almost the first 2 years of follow-up and after 9 years whereas the cause-specific survival decreased slowly and than stabilized at around 94 % at 9 years. Sensibility study results were satisfactory. Conclusions On our basis of prostate cancer data, the results obtained by cause-specific survival after multiple imputation appeared to be better and more realistic than those obtained using net survival.