Statistics in Medicine

On the efficiency of adaptive sample size design

Journal Article

Adaptive sample size designs, including group sequential designs, have been used as alternatives to fixed sample size designs to achieve more robust statistical power and better trial efficiency. This work investigates the efficiency of adaptive sample size designs as compared to group sequential designs. We show that given a group sequential design, a uniformly more efficient adaptive sample size design based on the same maximum sample size and rejection boundary can be constructed. While maintaining stable statistical power at the required level, the expected sample size of the obtained adaptive sample size design is uniformly smaller than that of the group sequential design with respect to a range of the true treatment difference. The finding provides further insights into the efficiency of adaptive sample size designs and challenges the popular belief of better efficiency associated with group sequential designs. Good adaptive performance plus easy implementation and other desirable operational features make adaptive sample size designs more attractive and applicable to modern clinical trials.

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