A simulation study using the hybrid statistic and the meta-analysis t-test for data with matched and unmatched subjects in the interim analysis of clinical trials
An interim analysis is usually applied in later phase II or phase III trials to find convincing evidence of a significant treatment difference that may lead to trial termination at an earlier point than planned at the beginning. This can result in the saving of patient resources and shortening of drug development and approval time. In addition, ethics and economics are also the reasons to stop a trial earlier. In clinical trials of eyes, ears, knees, arms, kidneys, lungs, and other clustered treatments, data may include distribution-free random variables with matched and unmatched subjects in one study. It is important to properly include both subjects in the interim and the final analyses so that the maximum efficiency of statistical and clinical inferences can be obtained at different stages of the trials. So far, no publication has applied a statistical method for distribution-free data with matched and unmatched subjects in the interim analysis of clinical trials. In this simulation study, the hybrid statistic was used to estimate the empirical powers and the empirical type I errors among the simulated datasets with different sample sizes, different effect sizes, different correlation coefficients for matched pairs, and different data distributions, respectively, in the interim and final analysis with 4 different group sequential methods. Empirical powers and empirical type I errors were also compared to those estimated by using the meta-analysis t-test among the same simulated datasets. Results from this simulation study show that, compared to the meta-analysis t-test commonly used for data with normally distributed observations, the hybrid statistic has a greater power for data observed from normally, log-normally, and multinomially distributed random variables with matched and unmatched subjects and with outliers. Powers rose with the increase in sample size, effect size, and correlation coefficient for the matched pairs. In addition, lower type I errors were observed estimated by using the hybrid statistic, which indicates that this test is also conservative for data with outliers in the interim analysis of clinical trials.
Wang, Yunfei, "A simulation study using the hybrid statistic and the meta-analysis t-test for data with matched and unmatched subjects in the interim analysis of clinical trials" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3518887.