Center-within-trial versus trial-level evaluation of surrogate endpoints

Lindsay A. Renfro, Qian Shi, Yuan Xue, Junlong Li, Hongwei Shang, Daniel J. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Evaluation of candidate surrogate endpoints using individual patient data from multiple clinical trials is considered the gold standard approach to validate surrogates at both patient and trial levels. However, this approach assumes the availability of patient-level data from a relatively large collection of similar trials, which may not be possible to achieve for a given disease application. One common solution to the problem of too few similar trials involves performing trial-level surrogacy analyses on trial sub-units (e.g., centers within trials), thereby artificially increasing the trial-level sample size for feasibility of the multi-trial analysis. To date, the practical impact of treating trial sub-units (centers) identically to trials in multi-trial surrogacy analyses remains unexplored, and conditions under which this ad hoc solution may in fact be reasonable have not been identified. We perform a simulation study to identify such conditions, and demonstrate practical implications using a multi-trial dataset of patients with early stage colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalComputational Statistics and Data Analysis
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Clinical trials
  • Meta-analysis
  • Surrogate endpoints
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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