Objectives: This article presents a space-time scan statistic, useful for evaluating space-time cluster alarms, and illustrates the method on a recent brain cancer cluster alarms in Los Alamos, NM.
Methods: The space-time scan statistic accounts for the preselection bias and multiple testing inherent in a cluster alarm. Confounders and time trends can be adjusted for.
Results: The observed excess of brain cancer in Los Alamos was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: The space-time scan statistic is useful as a screening tool for evaluating which cluster alarms merit further investigation and which clusters are probably chance occurrences.