[gov3009-l] Robins on "Optimal Treatment Regimes"

Matt Blackwell mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
Mon Oct 5 11:36:43 EDT 2009

Hello all,

Please join us this Wednesday, October 7th at the Applied Statistics
workshop when we will be happy to have Jamie Robins, the Mitchell L.
and Robin LaFoley Dong Professor of Epidemiology here at Harvard, who
will be presenting on "Estimation of Optimal Treatment Strategies from
Observational Data with Dynamic Marginal Structural Models." Jamie has
passed along a related paper with the following abstract:

We review recent developments in the estimation of an optimal
treatment strategy or regime from longitudinal data collected in an
observational study. We also propose novel methods for using the data
obtained from an observational database in one health-care system to
determine the optimal treatment regime for biologically similar
subjects in a second health-care system when, for cultural,
logistical, or financial reasons, the two health-care systems differ
(and will continue to differ) in the frequency of, and reasons for,
both laboratory tests and physician visits. Finally, we propose a
novel method for estimating the optimal timing of expensive and/or
painful diagnostic or prognostic tests. Diagnostic or prognostic tests
are only useful in so far as they help a physician to determine the
optimal dosing strategy, by providing information on both the current
health state and the prognosis of a patient because, in contrast to
drug therapies, these tests have no direct causal effect on disease
progression. Our new method explicitly incorporates this no direct
effect restriction.

A copy of the paper can be found here:

The workshop will being at noon with a light lunch and we usually wrap
up by 1:30. We hope you can make it.


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