Sample size for biomarker studies: more subjects or more measurements per subject?


Journal Article

PURPOSE: In molecular epidemiologic studies, optimizing the use of available biological specimens while minimizing the cost is always a challenge. This is particularly true in pilot studies, which often have limited funding and involve small numbers of biological samples too small for assessment of recently developed biomarkers. METHODS: In this study we examined several statistical approaches for determining how many experimental subjects to use in a biomarker study and how many repeated measurements to make on each sample, given specific funding considerations and the correlated nature of the repeated measurements. RESULTS: A molecular epidemiology study of DNA repair and aging in basal cell carcinoma was used to illustrate the application of the statistical methods proposed. CONCLUSIONS: Our methods extend traditional designs on biomarker studies with repeated measurements to including funding constraints.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lai, D; King, TM; Moyé, LA; Wei, Q

Published Date

  • March 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 204 - 208

PubMed ID

  • 12604165

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12604165

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1047-2797


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States