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Keywords:

  • adaptive methods;
  • permutation tests;
  • type I error rate control;
  • multiple comparisons;
  • blinded interim analysis

Occasionally, things go so wrong in a clinical trial that a change must be made. For example, the originally planned primary outcome may be measured completely unreliably. Is there any recourse? One may still be able to salvage the trial using a permutation test if a change is made before breaking the treatment blind. The solution is not a panacea; we discuss the limitations and legitimate grounds for criticism. Still, when it is needed, the procedure is preferable to rigid adherence to a design that makes no sense. Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.