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Sample Size Determination Example

AREA: Survival Analysis | Oncology

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Bayer Liver Disease Research

TitleA Phase III study of sorafenib after transarterial chemoembolisation in Japanese and Korean patients with
unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma

Objective: In Japan and South Korea, transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE) is an important locoregional treatment for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor, has been shown effective and safe in patients with advanced HCC. This phase III trial assessed the efficacy and safety of sorafenib in Japanese and Korean patients with unresectable HCC who responded to TACE.

Year: 2011

Source: New England Journal of Cancer

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959804911003248

Clinical Area: Oncology

Sample Size Section in Paper/Protocol:

“Patient sample size was estimated based on TTP. If 30% and 70% of patients achieved CR and non-CR, respectively, in response to TACE, the median TTP for the placebo group in the mixed population would be 5.7 months. Clinically meaningful improvement was defined as median TTP 50% higher in the sorafenib than in the placebo group.
Assuming one formal interim and one final analysis performed using an O’Brien-Fleming-type alpha spending function with a two-sided alpha of 0.05, 318 events would be required to achieve a statistical power of 95%. Accrual of 372 patients (186 in each group) within 18 months would be expected to result in 318 events after 30 months; if 10% of patients were lost to follow-up, 414 patients would have to be randomized to observe 318 events.”


Summary of Necessary Parameter Estimates for Sample Size Calculation:

 Parameter Value
 Significance Level 0.05
 Expected Placebo Median Survival 5.7 Months
 Expected Hazard Ratio 1.5
 Accrual Period 18 Months
 Maximum Follow Up Time 95%
Expected Dropout 20%
Number of Interim Analyses 1
Alpha Spending Function (from Protocol) O'Brien-Fleming

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Step 1: 
Select the Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals Table from the Study Design Pane.

This can be done using the radio buttons or alternatively, you can use the search bar at the end of the Select Test Design & Goal window.

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- img 01-Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Step 2:
From the Assistants menu select Survival Parameter Converter

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- img 02- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Convert the median survival time and hazard ratio into ‘’Group Proportion at Time t’’

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- img 03- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Step 3:
Enter the values for sample size calculation taken from the study design statement. Be sure to change the Number of Looks from the default to “2”. This specifies one interim analysis and one endpoint analysis.

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- Img 04- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Step 4:
Now enter the power - 95% and click Run. The sample size and number of events will auto calculate.

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- Img 05- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

 

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- img 06- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

 

The analysis calculates a sample size of 318 events per group with a power of 95.03% as per the study design statement.

 

Step 5:
nQuery Advanced also provides graphs. The sample size and number of events will auto calculate.

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- Img 07- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

To access plots, go to the menu and select Plot > Your graph

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- Img 08- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- img 09- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Step 6:
Select the ‘’Test based on exponential survival, accrual period’’ table. This table is used to adjust for the accrual period.

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- Img 10- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Step 7:
Use this table to calculate the sample size adjusted for accrual period. This gives a sample size of 186 per group (372 total) as per the study design statement.

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- Img 11- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

Step 8:
Calculate the sample size adjusted for expected 10% dropout

Sample Size Calculator Example- nQuery- Example 23- Img 12- Group Sequential Test of Two Survivals

 

This gives a final sample size of 414 per group as per study design statement

 

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