Bayesian analysis of a protocol for sampling preserved tumor specimens

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1 Scopus citations


Intratumor DNA heterogeneity—as assessed by flow-cytometric cellular DNA analysis—is predictive of prognosis in many types of cancer. But some truly heterogeneous tumors apparently have a substantial chance of being misclassified as normal. One way to enhance the assay’s sensitivity is to test multiple samples from each tumor specimen. This article describes an analysis of data from a study of endometrial cancer, with a view to establishing the number of samples needed to test to reliably assess heterogeneity. The analysis involves selection of a model for the data and estimation of test sensitivity and predictive value. We analyze the data from both Bayesian and frequentist perspectives. The data suggest that the degree of within-tumor correlation is relatively high; consequently, there is little to be gained from taking multiple samples per tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Statistical Association
Issue number429
StatePublished - Mar 1995


  • Beta-binomial
  • Cellular DNA analysis
  • Diagnostic test
  • Flow cytometry
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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