Dr. Nabihah Tayob
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Biostatistics
My current research focuses on biomarker study design, evaluation and screening for early detection of cancer. My recent work includes developing statistical methods for evaluating a biomarker panel in a two-stage study with early termination for futility. Two-stage group sequential designs with early termination for futility are important and widely used in biomarker development studies because they allow us to conserve valuable sample specimens in the case of inadequate biomarker performance at interim analysis. The other major focus of my research is the development of statistical methods that use multiple longitudinal biomarkers when screening for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients with cirrhosis are at high risk for HCC and recommended to undergo regular six-month surveillance. Our goal is to develop statistical methods that use biomarker information collected at the current screening visit, as well as prior screening visits, to improve the likelihood of early detection of HCC. These types of screening algorithms could potentially be used in other high-risk cancer populations that undergo surveillance with biomarkers. My doctoral research focused on developing statistical methods around the restricted mean survival, a clinically meaningful short-term outcome measure. Future research will explore the use of this measure in biomarker studies.