Objective: To estimate sample sizes for pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) trials using new T2 lesion count, annualized relapse rate (ARR), and time to first relapse (TTFR) endpoints.
Methods: Poisson and negative binomial models were fit to new T2 lesion and relapse count data, and negative binomial time-to-event and exponential models were fit to TTFR data of 42 children with MS enrolled in a national prospective cohort study. Simulations were performed by resampling from the best-fitting model of new T2 lesion count, number of relapses, or TTFR, under various assumptions of the effect size, trial duration, and model parameters.
Results: Assuming a 50% reduction in new T2 lesions over 6 months, 90 patients/arm are required, whereas 165 patients/arm are required for a 40% treatment effect. Sample sizes for 2-year trials using relapse-related endpoints are lower than that for 1-year trials. For 2-year trials and a conservative assumption of overdispersion (ϑ), sample sizes range from 70 patients/arm (using ARR) to 105 patients/arm (TTFR) for a 50% reduction in relapses, and 230 patients/arm (ARR) to 365 patients/arm (TTFR) for a 30% relapse reduction. Assuming a less conservative ϑ, 2-year trials using ARR require 45 patients/arm (60 patients/arm for TTFR) for a 50% reduction in relapses and 145 patients/arm (200 patients/arm for TTFR) for a 30% reduction.
Conclusion: Six-month phase II trials using new T2 lesion count as an endpoint are feasible in the pediatric MS population; however, trials powered on ARR or TTFR will need to be 2 years in duration and will require multicentered collaboration.