Open Access Journal of Biostatistics and Biometrics

An Alternative Perspective on Consensus Priors with Applications to Phase I Clinical Trials

Published on: 2018-09-03


We occasionally need to make a decision or a series of decisions based on a small sample. In some cases, an investigator is knowledgeable about a parameter of interest in some degrees or is accessible to various sources of prior information. Yet, two or more experts cannot have an identical prior distribution for the parameter. In this manuscript, we discuss the use of a consensus prior and compare two classes of Bayes estimators. In the first class of Bayes estimators, the contribution of each prior opinion is determined by observing data. In the second class, the contribution of each prior opinion is determined after observing data. Bayesian designs for Phase I clinical trials allocate trial participants at new experimental doses based on accumulated information, while the typical sample sizes are fairly small. Using simulations, we illustrate the usefulness of a combined estimate in the early phase clinical trials.


Consensus prior; Weighted Bayes estimator; Small-sample studies; Phase I clinical trials