Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials using Restricted Mean Survival Time
*Lihui Zhao, Northwestern University  Brian Claggett, Harvard Medical School  Marc Pfeffer, Harvard Medical School  Scott Solomon, Harvard Medical School)  Lu Tian, Stanford University  Lorenzo Trippa, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute  Hajime Uno, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute  LJ Wei, Harvard University 


For a study with an event time as the endpoint, its survival function contains all the information regarding the temporal, stochastic profile of this outcome variable. The survival probability at a specific time point, say t, however, does not transparently capture the temporal profile of this endpoint up to t. An alternative is to use the restricted mean survival time (RMST) at time t to summarize the profile. The RMST is the mean survival time of all subjects in the study population followed up to t, and is simply the area under the survival curve up to t. The advantages of using such a quantification over the survival rate have been discussed in the setting of a fixed-time analysis. In this research, we generalize this approach by considering a curve based on the RMST over time as an alternative summary to the survival function. Inference, for instance, based on simultaneous confidence bands for a single RMST curve and also the difference between two RMST curves are proposed. The latter is informative for evaluating two groups under an equivalence or noninferiority setting, and quantifies the difference of two groups in a time scale. The proposal is illustrated with the data from two clinical trials.