Biomarker-Guided Adaptive Trial Designs in Phase II and Phase III: A Methodological Review.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Personalized medicine is a growing area of research which aims to tailor the treatment given to a patient according to one or more personal characteristics. These characteristics can be demographic such as age or gender, or biological such as a genetic or other biomarker. Prior to utilizing a patient's biomarker information in clinical practice, robust testing in terms of analytical validity, clinical validity and clinical utility is necessary. A number of clinical trial designs have been proposed for testing a biomarker's clinical utility, including Phase II and Phase III clinical trials which aim to test the effectiveness of a biomarker-guided approach to treatment; these designs can be broadly classified into adaptive and non-adaptive. While adaptive designs allow planned modifications based on accumulating information during a trial, non-adaptive designs are typically simpler but less flexible. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We have undertaken a comprehensive review of biomarker-guided adaptive trial designs proposed in the past decade. We have identified eight distinct biomarker-guided adaptive designs and nine variations from 107 studies. Substantial variability has been observed in terms of how trial designs are described and particularly in the terminology used by different authors. We have graphically displayed the current biomarker-guided adaptive trial designs and summarised the characteristics of each design. CONCLUSIONS:Our in-depth overview provides future researchers with clarity in definition, methodology and terminology for biomarker-guided adaptive trial designs.
Project description:Biomarker-guided treatment is a rapidly developing area of medicine, where treatment choice is personalised according to one or more of an individual's biomarker measurements. A number of biomarker-guided trial designs have been proposed in the past decade, including both adaptive and non-adaptive trial designs which test the effectiveness of a biomarker-guided approach to treatment with the aim of improving patient health. A better understanding of them is needed as challenges occur both in terms of trial design and analysis. We have undertaken a comprehensive literature review based on an in-depth search strategy with a view to providing the research community with clarity in definition, methodology and terminology of the various biomarker-guided trial designs (both adaptive and non-adaptive designs) from a total of 211 included papers. In the present paper, we focus on non-adaptive biomarker-guided trial designs for which we have identified five distinct main types mentioned in 100 papers. We have graphically displayed each non-adaptive trial design and provided an in-depth overview of their key characteristics. Substantial variability has been observed in terms of how trial designs are described and particularly in the terminology used by different authors. Our comprehensive review provides guidance for those designing biomarker-guided trials.
Project description:Recent advances in biotechnology and cancer genomics have afforded enormous opportunities for development of more effective anticancer therapies. A key thrust of this modern drug development paradigm is successful identification of predictive biomarkers that can distinguish patients who might be sensitive to new targeted therapies. To respond to this challenge, a number of phase III cancer trial designs integrating biomarker-based objectives have been proposed and implemented in oncology drug development. In this article, we provide an updated review of commonly used biomarker-based randomized clinical trial designs, with a particular focus on design efficiency. When the efficacy of a new therapy may be limited to a biomarker-defined subgroup, the choice of an appropriate randomized clinical trial design should be guided by the strength of the biomarker's credentials. If compelling evidence indicates that a targeted therapy is beneficial only in a particular biomarker-defined subgroup, an enrichment design should be used. If there is strong evidence that the treatment is likely to be more beneficial in the biomarker-positive patients but a meaningful benefit is also possible in the biomarker-negative patients, then a properly powered biomarker-stratified design (eg, a subgroup-specific or Marker Sequential Test strategy) would provide the most rigorous determination of the sensitive populations. If the evidence supporting the predictive value of the biomarker is weak and the treatment is expected to work in the overall population, then a fallback design could be used. Careful selection of an appropriate phase III design strategy that integrates evaluation of a new anticancer therapy and its companion diagnostic is critical to the success of precision medicine in oncology.
Project description:Pharmacogenetics and biomarkers are becoming normalised as important technologies to improve drug efficacy rates, reduce the incidence of adverse drug reactions, and make informed choices for targeted therapies. However, their wider clinical implementation has been limited by a lack of robust evidence. Suitable evidence is required before a biomarker's clinical use, and also before its use in a clinical trial. We have undertaken a review of five pharmacogenetic biomarker-guided randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and evaluated the evidence used by these trials to justify biomarker inclusion. We assessed and quantified the evidence cited in published rationale papers, or where these were not available, obtained protocols from trial authors. Very different levels of evidence were provided by the trials. We used these observations to write recommendations for future justifications of biomarker use in RCTs and encourage regulatory authorities to write clear guidelines.
Project description:Biomarker-guided clinical trial designs, which focus on testing the effectiveness of a biomarker-guided approach to treatment in improving patient health, have drawn considerable attention in the era of stratified medicine with many different designs being proposed in the literature. However, planning such trials to ensure they have sufficient power to test the relevant hypotheses can be challenging and the literature often lacks guidance in this regard. In this study, we focus on the parallel subgroup-specific design, which allows the evaluation of separate treatment effects in the biomarker-positive subgroup and biomarker-negative subgroup simultaneously. We also explore an adaptive version of the design, where an interim analysis is undertaken based on a fixed percentage of target events, with the option to stop each biomarker-defined subgroup early for futility or efficacy. We calculate the number of events and patients required to ensure sufficient power in each of the biomarker-defined subgroups under different scenarios when the primary outcome is time-to-event. For the adaptive version, stopping probabilities are also explored. Since multiple hypotheses are being tested simultaneously, and multiple interim analyses are undertaken, we also focus on controlling the overall type I error rate by way of multiplicity adjustment.
Project description:The Biomarker Strategy Design has been proposed for trials assessing the value of a biomarker in guiding treatment in oncology. In such trials, patients are randomised to either receive the standard chemotherapy treatment or a biomarker-directed treatment arm, in which biomarker status is used to guide treatment.Motivated by a current trial, we consider an adaptive design in which two biomarkers are assessed. The trial is conducted in two stages. In the first stage, patients in the biomarker-guided arm are assessed using a standard and an alternative cheaper biomarker, with the standard biomarker guiding treatment. An analysis comparing biomarker results is then used to choose the biomarker to use for the remainder of the trial. The new biomarker is used if the results for the two biomarkers are sufficiently similar.We show that in practical situations the first-stage results can be used to adapt the trial without type I error rate inflation. We also show that there can be considerable cost gains with only a small loss in power in the case where the alternative biomarker is highly concordant with the standard one.Adaptive designs have an important role in reducing the cost and increasing the clinical utility of trials evaluating biomarker-guided treatment strategies.
Project description:We propose a Bayesian two-stage biomarker-based adaptive randomization (AR) design for the development of targeted agents. The design has three main goals: (1) to test the treatment efficacy, (2) to identify prognostic and predictive markers for the targeted agents, and (3) to provide better treatment for patients enrolled in the trial. To treat patients better, both stages are guided by the Bayesian AR based on the individual patient's biomarker profiles. The AR in the first stage is based on a known marker. A Go/No-Go decision can be made in the first stage by testing the overall treatment effects. If a Go decision is made at the end of the first stage, a two-step Bayesian lasso strategy will be implemented to select additional prognostic or predictive biomarkers to refine the AR in the second stage. We use simulations to demonstrate the good operating characteristics of the design, including the control of per-comparison type I and type II errors, high probability in selecting important markers, and treating more patients with more effective treatments. Bayesian adaptive designs allow for continuous learning. The designs are particularly suitable for the development of multiple targeted agents in the quest of personalized medicine. By estimating treatment effects and identifying relevant biomarkers, the information acquired from the interim data can be used to guide the choice of treatment for each individual patient enrolled in the trial in real time to achieve a better outcome. The design is being implemented in the BATTLE-2 trial in lung cancer at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bayesian adaptive designs can improve the efficiency of trials, and lead to trials that can produce high quality evidence more quickly, with fewer patients and lower costs than traditional methods. The aim of this work was to determine how Bayesian adaptive designs can be constructed for phase III clinical trials in critical care, and to assess the influence that Bayesian designs would have on trial efficiency and study results. METHODS:We re-designed the High Frequency OSCillation in Acute Respiratory distress syndrome (OSCAR) trial using Bayesian adaptive design methods, to allow for the possibility of early stopping for success or futility. We constructed several alternative designs and studied their operating characteristics via simulation. We then performed virtual re-executions by applying the Bayesian adaptive designs using the OSCAR data to demonstrate the practical applicability of the designs. RESULTS:We constructed five alternative Bayesian adaptive designs and identified a preferred design based on the simulated operating characteristics, which had similar power to the original design but recruited fewer patients on average. The virtual re-executions showed the Bayesian sequential approach and original OSCAR trial yielded similar trial conclusions. However, using a Bayesian sequential design could have led to a reduced sample size and earlier completion of the trial. CONCLUSIONS:Using the OSCAR trial as an example, this case study found that Bayesian adaptive designs can be constructed for phase III critical care trials. If the OSCAR trial had been run using one of the proposed Bayesian adaptive designs, it would have terminated at a smaller sample size with fewer deaths in the trial, whilst reaching the same conclusions. We recommend the wider use of Bayesian adaptive approaches in phase III clinical trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION:OSCAR Trial registration ISRCTN, ISRCTN10416500 . Retrospectively registered 13 June 2007.
Project description:<h4>Background/aims</h4>The increasing cost of the drug development process has seen interest in the use of adaptive trial designs grow substantially. Accordingly, much research has been conducted to identify barriers to increasing the use of adaptive designs in practice. Several articles have argued that the availability of user-friendly software will be an important step in making adaptive designs easier to implement. Therefore, we present a review of the current state of software availability for adaptive trial design.<h4>Methods</h4>We review articles from 31 journals published in 2013-2017 that relate to methodology for adaptive trials to assess how often code and software for implementing novel adaptive designs is made available at the time of publication. We contrast our findings against these journals' policies on code distribution. We also search popular code repositories, such as Comprehensive R Archive Network and GitHub, to identify further existing user-contributed software for adaptive designs. From this, we are able to direct interested parties toward solutions for their problem of interest.<h4>Results</h4>Only 30% of included articles made their code available in some form. In many instances, articles published in journals that had mandatory requirements on code provision still did not make code available. There are several areas in which available software is currently limited or saturated. In particular, many packages are available to address group sequential design, but comparatively little code is present in the public domain to determine biomarker-guided adaptive designs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>There is much room for improvement in the provision of software alongside adaptive design publications. In addition, while progress has been made, well-established software for various types of trial adaptation remains sparsely available.
Project description:Adaptive designs have the potential to improve efficiency in the evaluation of new medical treatments in comparison to traditional fixed sample size designs. However, they are still not widely used in practice in clinical research. Little research has been conducted to investigate what adaptive designs are being undertaken. This review highlights the current state of registered adaptive designs and their characteristics. The review looked at phase II, II/III and III trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov from 29 February 2000 to 1 June 2014, supplemented with trials from the National Institute for Health Research register and known adaptive trials. A range of adaptive design search terms were applied to the trials extracted from each database. Characteristics of the adaptive designs were then recorded including funder, therapeutic area and type of adaptation. The results in the paper suggest that the use of adaptive designs has increased. They seem to be most often used in phase II trials and in oncology. In phase III trials, the most popular form of adaptation is the group sequential design. The review failed to capture all trials with adaptive designs, which suggests that the reporting of adaptive designs, such as in clinical trials registers, needs much improving. We recommend that clinical trial registers should contain sections dedicated to the type and scope of the adaptation and that the term 'adaptive design' should be included in the trial title or at least in the brief summary or design sections.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bayesian adaptive designs can be more efficient than traditional methods for multi-arm randomised controlled trials. The aim of this work was to demonstrate how Bayesian adaptive designs can be constructed for multi-arm phase III clinical trials and assess potential benefits that these designs offer. METHODS:We constructed several alternative Bayesian adaptive designs for the Collaborative Ankle Support Trial (CAST), which was a randomised controlled trial that compared four treatments for severe ankle sprain. These designs incorporated response adaptive randomisation (RAR), arm dropping, and early stopping for efficacy or futility. We studied the operating characteristics of the Bayesian designs via simulation. We then virtually re-executed the trial by implementing the Bayesian adaptive designs using patient data sampled from the CAST study to demonstrate the practical applicability of the designs. RESULTS:We constructed five Bayesian adaptive designs, each of which had high power and recruited fewer patients on average than the original designs target sample size. The virtual executions showed that most of the Bayesian designs would have led to trials that declared superiority of one of the interventions over the control. Bayesian adaptive designs with RAR or arm dropping were more likely to allocate patients to better performing arms at each interim analysis. Similar estimates and conclusions were obtained from the Bayesian adaptive designs as from the original trial. CONCLUSIONS:Using CAST as an example, this case study shows how Bayesian adaptive designs can be constructed for phase III multi-arm trials using clinically relevant decision criteria. These designs demonstrated that they can potentially generate earlier results and allocate more patients to better performing arms. We recommend the wider use of Bayesian adaptive approaches in phase III clinical trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION:CAST study registration ISRCTN, ISRCTN37807450. Retrospectively registered on 25 April 2003.