An order restricted multi-arm multi-stage clinical trial design.

Change log

One family of designs that can noticeably improve efficiency in later stages of drug development are multi-arm multi-stage (MAMS) designs. They allow several arms to be studied concurrently and gain efficiency by dropping poorly performing treatment arms during the trial as well as by allowing to stop early for benefit. Conventional MAMS designs were developed for the setting, in which treatment arms are independent and hence can be inefficient when an order in the effects of the arms can be assumed (eg, when considering different treatment durations or different doses). In this work, we extend the MAMS framework to incorporate the order of treatment effects when no parametric dose-response or duration-response model is assumed. The design can identify all promising treatments with high probability. We show that the design provides strong control of the family-wise error rate and illustrate the design in a study of symptomatic asthma. Via simulations we show that the inclusion of the ordering information leads to better decision-making compared to a fixed sample and a MAMS design. Specifically, in the considered settings, reductions in sample size of around 15% were achieved in comparison to a conventional MAMS design.

Publication Date
Online Publication Date
Acceptance Date
adaptive designs, infectious diseases, multi-arm multi-stage, order restriction, Clinical Trials as Topic, Humans, Research Design, Sample Size
Journal Title
Stat Med
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
NIHR Academy (SRF-2015-08-001)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00002/14)
National Institute for Health Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)