Individualized treatment rules recommend treatments based on individual patient characteristics in order to maximize clinical benefit. When the clinical outcome of interest is survival time, estimation is often complicated by censoring. We develop nonparametric methods for estimating an optimal individualized treatment rule in the presence of censored data. To adjust for censoring, we propose a doubly robust estimator which requires correct specification of either the censoring model or survival model, but not both; the method is shown to be Fisher consistent when either model is correct. Furthermore, we establish the convergence rate of the expected survival under the estimated optimal individualized treatment rule to the expected survival under the optimal individualized treatment rule. We illustrate the proposed methods using simulation study and data from a Phase III clinical trial on non-small cell lung cancer.
Zhao, Ying-Qi; Zeng, Donglin; Laber, Eric B.; Song, Rui; Yuan, Ming; and Kosorok, Michael R., "Doubly Robust Learning for Estimating Individualized Treatment with Censored Data" (December 2014). The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Biostatistics Technical Report Series. Working Paper 42.