In alcohol dependence studies, the treatment effect at different dose levels remains to be ascertained. Establishing this effect would aid us in identifying the best dose that has satisfactory efficacy while minimizing the rate of adverse events. We advocate the use of dose-finding methodology that has been successfully implemented in the cancer and HIV settings to identify the optimal dose in a cost-effective way. Specifically, we describe the continual reassessment method (CRM), an adaptive design proposed for cancer trials to reconcile the needs of dose-finding experiments with the ethical demands of established medical practice.We are applying adaptive designs for identifying the optimal dose of medications for the first time in the context of pharmacotherapy research in alcoholism. We provide an example of a topiramate trial as an illustration of how adaptive designs can be used to locate the optimal dose in alcohol treatment trials. It is believed that the introduction of adaptive design methods will enable the development of medications for the treatment of alcohol dependence to be accelerated.
- Alcohol research
- Continual reassessment method
- Maximum tolerated dose
- Most successful dose