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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 1996 Apr;23(2):139-44.

Estimating the probability of occurrence of tumor for a rare cancer with zero occurrence in a sample.

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Department of Statistics, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri, 65211, USA.


In many physical situations one needs to estimate the probability of occurrence of a rare event based on a random sample when the event has not occurred at all. For example, if the true lifetime incidence of a tumor at a particular tissue site is less than 1%, it is not uncommon to observe no tumors in a typical sample size of 50 animals. This paper explores the suitability of nonzero Bayesian estimation procedures to replace zero maximum likelihood estimates for tissue sites with nonzero background tumor incidences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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