RESEARCH TRIANGLE, NC – Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and N.C. State University have been awarded a $12.5 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop new methods for the design and analysis of cancer clinical trials.
“Statistical Methods for Cancer Clinical Trials,” is one of the largest grants of its kind to be awarded by the National Cancer Institute. The project is led by three principal investigators: Michael R. Kosorok, Ph.D., professor and chair of the biostatistics department of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health; Marie Davidian, Ph.D., William Neal Reynolds Professor of Statistics and director of the Center for Quantitative Sciences in Biomedicine at NC State; and Stephen L. George, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at Duke.
The project will support a major collaborative, multidisciplinary effort that takes advantage of the unrivaled concentration of leading statistical and clinical experts at the three campuses, as well as the two highly-rated cancer centers at UNC and Duke.
Clinical trials are controlled studies in humans that evaluate the value of prevention, diagnosis or treatment methods, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. The effectiveness of almost all advances in cancer treatment must be evaluated in clinical trials before being adopted in clinical practice.
Statisticians play an integral role in designing trials, analyzing and interpreting the results to determine if they are meaningful and developing new methods for design and analysis in settings where traditional methods are inappropriate.
The goal of the project is to dramatically improve the efficiency of the cancer clinical trial process and ultimately to improve the health and longevity of cancer patients.