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Dr West

All about subgroups: Why do we value the results in some trial subgroups but not others?


Here’s an important summary of how to interpret results from cancer trials that are increasingly hyped to the general public. You need to be a knowledgeable consumer of this information.

Over the past decade, one of the biggest developments in lung cancer, and in fact many kinds of cancer, has been the identification of important subgroups within the broad categories. Where 10-12 years ago we categorized patients as “advanced NSCLC” and didn’t get much more granular than that, we now routinely look for differences depending on different tumor histologies (adenocarcinoma, squamous, or other), the presence or absence of driver mutations, perhaps even smoking status. We expect to see differences, and in many cases identification of specific subgroups within a larger trial has led to major changes in treatment recommendations. At other times, however, you may see/read cancer news highlights that describe results as being significantly different for one group or another in a trial that was otherwise negative. What makes the results of one subgroup analysis credible and practice-changing, while oncologists view others with far more skepticism?

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Dr West

Clinical Trials in Cancer, by Dr. Ramalingam: Trial Development


Drug discovery fig

Our friend Dr. Suresh Ramalingam from Winship Cancer Center, Emory University in Atlanta, GA continued his primer on clinical trials in cancer by discussing the components involved with developing a clinical trial.  Here he covers how we develop everything from the basic premise of what the trial will test, how we develop the statistical tests, the documentation we develop, and the regulatory requirements leading to a clinical trial becoming available for patient enrollment at an institution.

Below you’ll find the video and audio versions of the podcast, along with the transcript and figures for the program.

Ramalingam Clin Trials Pt 2 Trial Development Audio Podcast

Ramalingam Clin Trials Pt 2 Trial Development Transcript

Ramalingam Clin Trials Pt 2 Trial Development Figs

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