Evaluating Markers for Guiding Treatment.
Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst
Date: 2016 Sep
Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): BRG
PubMed ID: 27193772
PMC ID: PMC5939825
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The subpopulation treatment effect pattern plot (STEPP) is an appealing method for assessing the clinical impact of a predictive marker on patient outcomes and identifying a promising subgroup for further study. However, its original formulation lacked a decision analytic justification and applied only to a single marker. METHODS: We derive a decision-analytic result that motivates STEPP. We discuss the incorporation of multiple predictive markers into STEPP using risk difference, cadit, and responders-only benefit functions. RESULTS: Applying STEPP to data from a breast cancer treatment trial with multiple markers, we found that none of the three benefit functions identified a promising subgroup for further study. Applying STEPP to hypothetical data from a trial with 100 markers, we found that all three benefit functions identified promising subgroups as evidenced by the large statistically significant treatment effect in these subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Because the method has desirable decision-analytic properties and yields an informative plot, it is worth applying to randomized trials on the chance there is a large treatment effect in a subgroup determined by the predictive markers.