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Biometrics. 2002 Mar;58(1):237-40.

On the use of nonparametric curves in phase I trials with low toxicity tolerance.

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Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Gasparini and Eisele (2000, Biometrics 56, 609-615) propose a design for phase I clinical trials during which dose allocation is governed by a Bayesian nonparametric estimate of the dose-response curve. The authors also suggest an elicitation algorithm to establish vague priors. However, in situations where a low percentile is targeted, priors thus obtained can lead to undesirable rigidity given certain trial outcomes that can occur with a nonnegligible probability. Interestingly, improvement can be achieved by prescribing slightly more informative priors. Some guidelines for prior elicitation are established using a connection between this curve-free method and the continual reassessment method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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