Medical treatments often take a period of time to reveal their impact on subjects, which is the so-called time-lag effect in the literature. In the survival data analysis literature, most existing methods compare two treatments in the entire study period. In cases when there is a substantial time-lag effect, these methods would not be effective in detecting the difference between the two treatments, because the similarity between the treatments during the time-lag period would diminish their effectiveness. In this paper, we develop a novel modeling approach for estimating the time-lag period and for comparing the two treatments properly after the time-lag effect is accommodated. Theoretical arguments and numerical examples show that it is effective in practice.
Cox proportional hazards model Crossing hazard rates Lag effect Survival analysis Treatment comparison
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The authors thank the editor and two referees for their valuable comments which greatly improved the quality of this paper.
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