Back to Journals » Clinical Epidemiology » Volume 5 » Issue 1

Methods and rationale used in a matched cohort study of the incidence of new primary cancers following prostate cancer

Authors Cronin-Fenton DP, Antonsen S, Cetin K, Acquavella J, Daniels A, Lash TL

Received 10 June 2013

Accepted for publication 16 July 2013

Published 31 October 2013 Volume 2013:5(1) Pages 429—437


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Deirdre P Cronin-Fenton,1 Sussie Antonsen,1 Karynsa Cetin,2 John Acquavella,2 Andre Daniels,3 Timothy L Lash1,4

1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 2Center for Observational Research, Amgen Incorporated, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; 3Global Regulatory Affairs and Safety, Amgen Incorporated, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; 4Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Objectives: We describe several methodological issues that were addressed in conducting a Danish population-based matched cohort study comparing rates of new primary cancers (NPCs) in men with and without prostate cancer (PC).
Methods: We matched 30,220 men with PC to 151,100 men without PC (comparators) on age (±2 years) and PC diagnosis/index date. We focused on several methodological issues: 1) to address survival differences between the cohorts we compared rates with and without censoring comparators on the date their matched PC patient died or was censored; 2) to address diagnostic bias, we excluded men with a history of cancer from the comparator cohort; 3) to address prostate cancer immunity, we graphed the hazard of NPC in both cohorts, with and without prostate cancer as an outcome; 4) we used empirical Bayes methods to explore the effect of adjusting for multiple comparisons.
Results: After 18 months of follow-up, cumulative person-time was lower in the PC than comparator cohort due to higher mortality among PC patients. Terminating person-time in comparators at the matched PC patient's death or loss to follow-up resulted in comparable person-time up to 30 months of follow-up and lower person-time among comparators thereafter. The hazard of NPC was lower among men with PC than comparators throughout follow-up. There was little difference in rates beyond the first four years of follow-up after removing PC as an outcome. Empirical Bayes adjustment for multiple comparisons had little effect on the estimates.
Conclusion: Addressing the issues of competing risks, treatment interference or diagnostic bias, prostate cancer immunity due to radical prostatectomy, and multiple comparisons lowered the deficit rate of NPCs among men with a history of PC compared with those without PC. However, the differing rates of NPCs may also be due to risk factor differences between the cohorts.

Keywords: prostate cancer, cohort study, cancer epidemiology, new primary cancer, incidence rate, competing risks, multiple comparisons

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]