Re-randomization increased recruitment and provided similar treatment estimates as parallel designs in trials of febrile neutropenia.
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J Clin Epidemiol
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OBJECTIVE: Re-randomization trials allow patients to be re-enrolled for multiple treatment episodes. However, it remains uncertain to what extent re-randomization improves recruitment compared to parallel group designs or whether treatment estimates might be affected. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We evaluated trials included in a recent Cochrane review of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors for patients with febrile neutropenia. We assessed the recruitment benefits of re-randomization trials; compared treatment effect estimates between re-randomization and parallel group designs; and assessed whether re-randomization led to higher rates of non-compliance and loss to follow-up in subsequent episodes. RESULTS: We included 14 trials (5 re-randomization and 9 parallel group). The re-randomization trials recruited a median of 25% (range 16-66%) more episodes on average than they would have under a parallel-group design. Treatment effect estimates were similar between re-randomization and parallel group trials across all outcomes, though confidence intervals were wide. The re-randomization trials in this review reported no loss to follow-up and low rates of non-compliance (median 1.7%, range 0-8.9%). CONCLUSIONS: In the setting of febrile neutropenia, re-randomization increased recruitment while providing similar estimates of treatment effect to parallel group trials, with minimal loss to follow-up or non-compliance. It appears to be safe and efficient alternative to parallel group designs in this setting.
AuthorsKahan, BC; Morris, TP; Harris, E; Pearse, R; Hooper, R; Eldridge, S
- Population Health