Competing Risks and Multistate Models
Complex clinical endpoints are present in studies in cancer. Especially in studies on hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), various risks exist after HSCT. Patients can experience acute and chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD) or need to undergo immunosuppressive therapy (IST), a relapse can occur, or patients can die after relapse or without former relapse (nonrelapse mortality, NRM). Sometimes, endpoints can be reasonably combined in a composite endpoint, as, for example, relapse and NRM are combined into disease-free survival (DFS). In this case, standard survival techniques, as Kaplan–Meier estimation of the DFS probability, can be applied.