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Biostatistics. 2007 Jul;8(3):576-94. Epub 2006 Oct 4.

Estimating and modeling the cure fraction in population-based cancer survival analysis.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences, Centre for Biostatistics and Genetic Epidemiology, University of Leicester, 22-28 Princess Road West, Leicester LE1 6TP, UK.


In population-based cancer studies, cure is said to occur when the mortality (hazard) rate in the diseased group of individuals returns to the same level as that expected in the general population. The cure fraction (the proportion of patients cured of disease) is of interest to patients and is a useful measure to monitor trends in survival of curable disease. There are 2 main types of cure fraction model, the mixture cure fraction model and the non-mixture cure fraction model, with most previous work concentrating on the mixture cure fraction model. In this paper, we extend the parametric non-mixture cure fraction model to incorporate background mortality, thus providing estimates of the cure fraction in population-based cancer studies. We compare the estimates of relative survival and the cure fraction between the 2 types of model and also investigate the importance of modeling the ancillary parameters in the selected parametric distribution for both types of model.

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