Layman’s abstract for Pharmaceutical Statistics article on Designing and analyzing clinical trials for personalized medicine via Bayesian models

Each week, we publish layman’s abstracts of new articles from our prestigious portfolio of journals in statistics. The aim is to highlight the latest research to a broader audience in an accessible format.

The article featured today is from Pharmaceutical Statistics, with the full article now available to read here.

Zhang, CMayo, MSWick, JAGajewski, BJDesigning and analyzing clinical trials for personalized medicine via Bayesian modelsPharmaceutical Statistics202120573– 596

Patients with different characteristics (e.g., biomarkers, risk factors) may have different responses to the same medicine. Personalized medicine clinical studies that are designed to identify patient subgroup treatment efficacies can benefit patients and save medical resources. However, subgroup treatment effect identification complicates the study design in consideration of desired operating characteristics. 

This paper investigates three Bayesian adaptive models for subgroup treatment effect identification: pairwise independent, hierarchical, and cluster hierarchical achieved via Dirichlet Process (DP). The impact of interim analysis and longitudinal data modeling on the personalized medicine study design is also explored. Interim analysis is considered since they can accelerate personalized medicine studies in cases where early stopping rules for success or futility are met. This paper applies integrated two-component prediction method (ITP) for longitudinal data simulation, and simple linear regression for longitudinal data imputation to optimize the study design. The designs’ performance in terms of power for the subgroup treatment effects and overall treatment effect, sample size, and study duration are investigated via simulation.  

It has been found the hierarchical model is an optimal approach to identifying subgroup treatment effects, and the cluster hierarchical model is an excellent alternative approach in cases where sufficient information is not available for specifying the priorsThe interim analysis introduction to the study design led to the trade-off between power and expected sample size via the adjustment of the early stopping criteria. The introduction of the longitudinal modeling slightly improves the power. These findings can be applied to future personalized medicine studies with discrete or time-to-event endpoints.


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