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Control Clin Trials. 2000 Jun;21(3):190-207.

Computations for group sequential boundaries using the Lan-DeMets spending function method.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.


We describe an interactive Fortran program which performs computations related to the design and analysis of group sequential clinical trials using Lan-DeMets spending functions. Many clinical trials include interim analyses of accumulating data and rely on group sequential methods to avoid consequent inflation of the type I error rate. The computations are appropriate for interim test statistics whose distribution or limiting distribution is multivariate normal with independent increments. Recent theoretical results indicate that virtually any design likely to be used in a clinical trial will fall into this category. Interim analyses need not be equally spaced, and their number need not be specified in advance. In addition to determining sequential boundaries using an alpha spending function, the program can perform power computations, compute probabilities associated with a given set of boundaries, and generate confidence intervals.

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