21 May 2015 10:00am

SMART Designs and Q-learning for Dynamic Treatment Regimens


Dynamic treatment regimens (DTRs) are sequential decision rules that specify how to adapt the type, dosage and timing of treatment according to an individual patient’s time-varying characteristics. DTRs offer a framework for operationalizing the multistage decision making in personalized clinical practice, thus providing an opportunity to improve it. They are particularly useful for the management of chronic diseases. Constructing “evidence-based” DTRs from patient data requires implementation of cutting-edge study design and analysis tools. In this talk, I will discuss the key ideas governing the paradigm of DTRs, a novel class of study designs called sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART), and a regression-based analysis approach called Q-learning. The methodological developments will be illustrated through various study examples.