Title: Subgroup selection in adaptive signature designs of confirmatory clinical trials
Authors: Zhiwei Zhang - University of California at Riverside (United States) [presenting]
Abstract: The increasing awareness of treatment effect heterogeneity has motivated flexible designs of confirmatory clinical trials that prospectively allow investigators to test for treatment efficacy for a subpopulation of patients in addition to the entire population. If a target subpopulation is not well characterized in the design stage, it can be developed at the end of a broad eligibility trial under an adaptive signature design. New procedures for subgroup selection and treatment effect estimation (for the selected subgroup) are proposed under an adaptive signature design. We first provide a simple and general characterization of the optimal subgroup that maximizes the power for demonstrating treatment efficacy or the expected gain based on a specified utility function. This characterization motivates a procedure for subgroup selection that involves prediction modelling, augmented inverse probability weighting and low dimensional maximization. A cross-validation procedure can be used to remove or reduce any resubstitution bias that may result from subgroup selection, and a bootstrap procedure can be used to make inference about the treatment effect in the subgroup selected. The approach proposed is evaluated in simulation studies and illustrated with real examples.