Estimation of treatment effects following a sequential trial of multiple treatments.

08:00 EDT 23rd March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Estimation of treatment effects following a sequential trial of multiple treatments."

When a clinical trial is subject to a series of interim analyses as a result of which the study may be terminated or modified, final frequentist analyses need to take account of the design used. Failure to do so may result in overstated levels of significance, biased effect estimates and confidence intervals with inadequate coverage probabilities. A wide variety of valid methods of frequentist analysis have been devised for sequential designs comparing a single experimental treatment with a single control treatment. It is less clear how to perform the final analysis of a sequential or adaptive design applied in a more complex setting, for example, to determine which treatment or set of treatments amongst several candidates should be recommended. This article has been motivated by consideration of a trial in which four treatments for sepsis are to be compared, with interim analyses allowing the dropping of treatments or termination of the trial to declare a single winner or to conclude that there is little difference between the treatments that remain. The approach taken is based on the method of Rao-Blackwellization which enhances the accuracy of unbiased estimates available from the first interim analysis by taking their conditional expectations given final sufficient statistics. Analytic approaches to determine such expectations are difficult and specific to the details of the design: instead "reverse simulations" are conducted to construct replicate realizations of the first interim analysis from the final test statistics. The method also provides approximate confidence intervals for the differences between treatments.


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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Statistics in medicine
ISSN: 1097-0258


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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Work consisting of a clinical trial that involves at least one test treatment and one control treatment, concurrent enrollment and follow-up of the test- and control-treated groups, and in which the treatments to be administered are selected by a random process, such as the use of a random-numbers table.

Providing an investigational therapy to a patient who is not eligible to receive that therapy in a clinical trial, but who has a serious or life-threatening illness for which other treatments are not available. Compassionate use trials allow patients to receive promising but not yet fully studied or approved therapies when no other treatment option exists. Also called expanded access trial.

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