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Keywords:

  • Clinical trials;
  • Enrichment designs;
  • Randomized discontinuation design;
  • Tumor growth models

Summary We propose optimal choice of the design parameters for random discontinuation designs (RDD) using a Bayesian decision-theoretic approach. We consider applications of RDDs to oncology phase II studies evaluating activity of cytostatic agents. The design consists of two stages. The preliminary open-label stage treats all patients with the new agent and identifies a possibly sensitive subpopulation. The subsequent second stage randomizes, treats, follows, and compares outcomes among patients in the identified subgroup, with randomization to either the new or a control treatment. Several tuning parameters characterize the design: the number of patients in the trial, the duration of the preliminary stage, and the duration of follow-up after randomization. We define a probability model for tumor growth, specify a suitable utility function, and develop a computational procedure for selecting the optimal tuning parameters.