WebDISCO: a web service for distributed cox model learning without patient-level data sharing.
OBJECTIVE: The Cox proportional hazards model is a widely used method for analyzing survival data. To achieve sufficient statistical power in a survival analysis, it usually requires a large amount of data. Data sharing across institutions could be a potential workaround for providing this added power. METHODS AND MATERIALS: The authors develop a web service for distributed Cox model learning (WebDISCO), which focuses on the proof-of-concept and algorithm development for federated survival analysis. The sensitive patient-level data can be processed locally and only the less-sensitive intermediate statistics are exchanged to build a global Cox model. Mathematical derivation shows that the proposed distributed algorithm is identical to the centralized Cox model. RESULTS: The authors evaluated the proposed framework at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Emory, and Duke. The experimental results show that both distributed and centralized models result in near-identical model coefficients with differences in the range [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text]. The results confirm the mathematical derivation and show that the implementation of the distributed model can achieve the same results as the centralized implementation. LIMITATION: The proposed method serves as a proof of concept, in which a publicly available dataset was used to evaluate the performance. The authors do not intend to suggest that this method can resolve policy and engineering issues related to the federated use of institutional data, but they should serve as evidence of the technical feasibility of the proposed approach.Conclusions WebDISCO (Web-based Distributed Cox Regression Model; https://webdisco.ucsd-dbmi.org:8443/cox/) provides a proof-of-concept web service that implements a distributed algorithm to conduct distributed survival analysis without sharing patient level data.
Lu, C-L; Wang, S; Ji, Z; Wu, Y; Xiong, L; Jiang, X; Ohno-Machado, L
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)