A Bayesian design for phase I cancer therapeutic vaccine trials

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Phase I clinical trials are the first step in drug development to test a new drug or drug combination on humans. Typical designs of Phase I trials use toxicity as the primary endpoint and aim to find the maximum tolerable dosage. However, these designs are poorly applicable for the development of cancer therapeutic vaccines because the expected safety concerns for these vaccines are not as much as cytotoxic agents. The primary objectives of a cancer therapeutic vaccine phase I trial thus often include determining whether the vaccine shows biologic activity and the minimum dose necessary to achieve a full immune or even clinical response. In this paper, we propose a new Bayesian phase I trial design that allows simultaneous evaluation of safety and immunogenicity outcomes. We demonstrate the proposed clinical trial design by both a numeric study and a therapeutic human papillomavirus vaccine trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1170-1189
Number of pages20
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 30 2019


  • Bayesian
  • HPV
  • Phase I
  • cancer therapeutic vaccine
  • clinical trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability


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