The remarkable therapeutic potential of response-based dose individualisation in drug trials and patient care

Drug Discov Today. 2018 Aug;23(8):1463-1468. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.04.005. Epub 2018 Apr 12.


The FDA reported that most drugs are effective in only 25-62% of patients. Although many drugs require dose individualisation in clinical practice, dose-finding trials usually aim to identify an optimal dose for the patient population. Such a dose would be suboptimal for many patients. Simulations show that individualised dose titration, balancing efficacy against toxicity, can remarkably increase the response rate - doubling it in some situations. Dose titration in a clinical trial can efficiently establish the realistic expectations for the drug's true utility in a trial setting that reflects clinical practice, as well as generate important knowledge to guide patient care through informative drug labels. This design answers key questions truly relevant to patient care that other designs cannot - will a patient benefit from a given therapy, to what extent and at what dose? Therefore, response-based dose titration should be considered for dose-finding trials, where appropriate, for drugs that will eventually be used this way in the clinic.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Dosage Calculations*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Safety
  • Research Design*
  • Risk Assessment