A likelihood ratio test for cancer screening trials

S. G. Self, R. Etzioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In randomized cancer screening trials, mortality rates for the screened group relative to those of the control group are not likely to be constant as a function of years from randomization due to the inherent lag between initiation of screening and any putative effects of screening on mortality. In this situation, a log rank test for differences in mortality between the randomization groups will not be optimal. Although optimality could potentially be recovered by use of a weighted log rank statistic, the optimal weights are difficult to specify a priori and the potential loss of power by use of poorly specified weights is great. We describe a likelihood ratio test with two degrees of freedom for use in this situation which is based on a fit of a weakly structured full model. Computation of an approximate significance level for this test is described and a large sample justification for this approximation is given. Size and power properties of the proposed statistic are compared to that of several other statistics in a small simulation study and the statistic is applied to data from the HIP Breast Cancer Screening Trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Likelihood ratio
  • Screening Trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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