• Adaptive weight;
  • Dose finding;
  • MTD;
  • Oncology;
  • Time-to-event

Delayed dose limiting toxicities (i.e. beyond first cycle of treatment) is a challenge for phase I trials. The time-to-event continual reassessment method (TITE-CRM) is a Bayesian dose-finding design to address the issue of long observation time and early patient drop-out. It uses a weighted binomial likelihood with weights assigned to observations by the unknown time-to-toxicity distribution, and is open to accrual continually. To avoid dosing at overly toxic levels while retaining accuracy and efficiency for DLT evaluation that involves multiple cycles, we propose an adaptive weight function by incorporating cyclical data of the experimental treatment with parameters updated continually. This provides a reasonable estimate for the time-to-toxicity distribution by accounting for inter-cycle variability and maintains the statistical properties of consistency and coherence. A case study of a First-in-Human trial in cancer for an experimental biologic is presented using the proposed design. Design calibrations for the clinical and statistical parameters are conducted to ensure good operating characteristics. Simulation results show that the proposed TITE-CRM design with adaptive weight function yields significantly shorter trial duration, does not expose patients to additional risk, is competitive against the existing weighting methods, and possesses some desirable properties.