Estimation of conditional cumulative incidence functions under generalized semiparametric regression models with missing covariates, with application to analysis of biomarker correlates in vaccine trials

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This article presents generalized semiparametric regression models for conditional cumulative incidence functions with competing risks data when covariates are missing by sampling design or happenstance. A doubly robust augmented inverse probability weighted (AIPW) complete-case approach to estimation and inference is investigated. This approach modifies IPW complete-case estimating equations by exploiting the key features in the relationship between the missing covariates and the phase-one data to improve efficiency. An iterative numerical procedure is derived to solve the nonlinear estimating equations. The asymptotic properties of the proposed estimators are established. A simulation study examining the finite-sample performances of the proposed estimators shows that the AIPW estimators are more efficient than the IPW estimators. The developed method is applied to the RV144 HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial to investigate vaccine-induced IgG binding antibodies to HIV-1 as correlates of acquisition of HIV-1 infection while taking account of whether the HIV-1 sequences are near or far from the HIV-1 sequences represented in the vaccine construct.

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Canadian Journal of Statistics

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