Prakash Nayak writes:

I work as a musculoskeletal oncologist (surgeon) in Mumbai, India and am keen on sarcoma research.

Sarcomas are rare disorders, and conventional frequentist analysis falls short of providing meaningful results for clinical application.

I am thus keen on applying Bayesian analysis to a lot of trials performed with small numbers in this field.

I need advise from you for a good starting point for someone uninitiated in Bayesian analysis. What to read, what courses to take and is there a way I could collaborate with any local/international statisticians dealing with these methods.

I have attached a recent publication [Optimal timing of pulmonary metastasectomy – is a delayed operation beneficial or counterproductive?, by M. Kruger, J. D. Schmitto, B. Wiegmannn, T. K. Rajab, and A. Haverich] which is one amongst others I understand would benefit from some Bayesian analyses.

I have no idea who in India works in this area so I’m just putting this one out there in the hope that someone will be able to make the connection.

I would suggest R. Siddharthan (http://www.imsc.res.in/~rsidd/) as someone with a strong interest in Bayesian methods applied to several problems.

Hi, the link seems dead. Could you send another?

Prof. Rahul Siddharthan at Institute of Mathematical Sciences at Chennai might be the right contact person.

We at Center for Translational Medicine (http://www.ctm.umaryland.edu/index.php), University of Maryland would like to take this oppurtunity to discuss further and collaborate with you on this research question. Our faculty’s research also include designing and analyzing clinical trials by bayesian methodology.

See http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/98/21/1512.full?etoc= and http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/25/19/2755.full.pdf.

From that first link: “A P value of 0.05 means that 5% of the time a positive result will actually be wrong.”

…and then I see this:

“Articles citing this article:

How Not to Interpret a P Value?

JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2007) 99 (4): 332-333″

Hah.

There are so many levels of confusion…

Oops. I had read the second, and I skimmed parts of the first and figured it might be a quick intro.

Your article is available at http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/99/4/332.full, and http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/103/24/1903.2.full is related.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Possibly I may help you do analysis, interpretation and reporting. If you want to know about me more kindly visit http://sri-india.in

> rare disorders, and conventional frequentist (and Bayesian) analysis falls short of providing meaningful results for clinical application

There is a literature which should include “orphan drugs” that tries to purposefully indentify the challenges and issues of clinical research on rare disorders.

The implicit thought that someone with conventional training in Bayesian statistics would likely contribute _without_ that background insight is misguided.

My sense is that such statisticians are rare in Canada if not also US and Europe.