Gene-treatment interactions, just like drug-drug interactions, can have dramatic effects on a patient response and therefore influence the clinician decision at the patient’s bedside. Crossover designs, although they are known to decrease the number of subjects in drug-interaction studies, are seldom used in pharmacogenetic studies. We propose to evaluate, via realistic clinical trial simulations, to what extent crossover designs can help quantifying the gene-treatment interaction effect. We explored different scenarios of crossover and parallel design studies comparing two symptom-modifying treatments in a chronic and stable disease accounting for the impact of a one gene and one gene-treatment interaction. We varied the number of subjects, the between and within subject variabilities, the gene polymorphism frequency and the effect sizes of the treatment, gene, and gene-treatment interaction. Each simulated dataset was analyzed using three models: (i) estimating only the treatment effect, (ii) estimating the treatment and the gene effects, and (iii) estimating the treatment, the gene, and the gene-treatment interaction effects. We showed how ignoring the gene-treatment interaction results in the wrong treatment effect estimates. We also highlighted how crossover studies are more powerful to detect a treatment effect in the presence of a gene-treatment interaction and more often lead to correct treatment attribution.
© 2021 The Authors. CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology published by Wiley Periodicals, LLC on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.