Example of a strategically planned programme of clinical research

A coherent programme of research can certainly be achieved on an ad hoc basis by independent groups and individuals who are aware of other trials, and plan their own to be complementary. There can be additional advantages, however, from having a single trials group with the capacity to run trials in all the relevant stages of a particular cancer, where good trial ideas exist. In this way, it is possible to ensure that there is no unintentional overlap in eligibility for trials. For example, in developing their trials in germ-cell cancer in the late 1980s, the MRC Testis Cancer Group were able to ensure that all patients with metastatic germ-cell cancer were eligible for one, and only one, trial. At that time, trials were ongoing in virtually every stage of disease, which had the added advantage that collaborating clinicians could consider every patient they saw for a suitable trial. This may well have contributed to the very high proportion of newly diagnosed patients (over 50 per cent of the national annual incidence) going into these trials.

0 0

Post a comment