Kernel Cox partially linear regression: Building predictive models for cancer patients' survival

Yaohua Rong, Sihai Dave Zhao, Xia Zheng, Yi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wide heterogeneity exists in cancer patients' survival, ranging from a few months to several decades. To accurately predict clinical outcomes, it is vital to build an accurate predictive model that relates the patients' molecular profiles with the patients' survival. With complex relationships between survival and high-dimensional molecular predictors, it is challenging to conduct nonparametric modeling and irrelevant predictors removing simultaneously. In this article, we build a kernel Cox proportional hazards semi-parametric model and propose a novel regularized garrotized kernel machine (RegGKM) method to fit the model. We use the kernel machine method to describe the complex relationship between survival and predictors, while automatically removing irrelevant parametric and nonparametric predictors through a LASSO penalty. An efficient high-dimensional algorithm is developed for the proposed method. Comparison with other competing methods in simulation shows that the proposed method always has better predictive accuracy. We apply this method to analyze a multiple myeloma dataset and predict the patients' death burden based on their gene expressions. Our results can help classify patients into groups with different death risks, facilitating treatment for better clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2024


  • Cox proportional hazards model
  • high-dimensional data
  • kernel machine
  • multiple myeloma
  • reproducing kernel Hilbert space
  • survival prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability


Dive into the research topics of 'Kernel Cox partially linear regression: Building predictive models for cancer patients' survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this