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ASH 2014: Prof. Hillmen Describes Adaptive Clinical Trial Design in CLL

In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge. All articles and interviews are informational only, should never be considered medical advice, and should never be acted on without review with your health care team.

At the 2014 American Society of Hematology annual meeting in San Francisco, CA, Professor Peter Hillmen out of Leeds, England describes how we can get fast answers to complex clinical questions through adaptive clinical trial design without confounding the data.

Take Away Points:

  • Adaptive clinical trial design is the science and art of applying a sophisticated statistical approach to the mixing and matching of therapies without compromising data.
  • Coordinated large-scale trial efforts are enabled in the UK with a national health service. In the USA, the logistics and the subsequent accrual in trials are often more challenging.
  • Trial design is changing to better serve the patients.

ASH 2014:

In the third and final segment of our interview from ASH 2014, Professor Hillmen out of Leeds, England describes how, with quick data analysis (months instead of years) and astute addition of new trial arms, we can get fast answers to complex clinical questions without confounding the data.

This will be an increasingly important issue as more and more clinical trials take the humane move to allow crossovers. Crossovers, while good for patients, can make the data harder to tease out. This is the subtext of our discussion on just how much more explanation was necessary to interpret some trial results at ASH 2014. Please see this post or this for more on the ethics underlying this issue and the resulting change in trial designs in the last few years.

The professor’s explanations in our interview are somewhat complex and technical, but the good news is that we are beginning to move away from the glacier-paced trials that predominated the cancer research landscape until very recently. We should increasingly be able get answers and get access to better care much sooner with the innovative changes that are starting to happen, with Europe leading the way.

Please give a listen to Professor Hillmen who heads up CLL research in the United Kingdom.

Brian Koffman 5/9/15