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NC Universities Awarded NIH Grant

1 July 2010 1,366 views No Comment

A team of statisticians and clinicians from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Duke University and North Carolina State University (NCSU) was recently awarded a $12.5 million, five-year P01 Research Program Project grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The grant application, titled “Statistical Methods for Cancer Clinical Trials,” began on April 1 and supports a major collaborative, multidisciplinary effort called the Innovative Methods Program for Advancing Clinical Trials (IMPACT).

IMPACT will take advantage of the concentration of statistical and clinical researchers across the three institutions, as well as the highly rated cancer centers at UNC and Duke, to develop and implement state-of-the-art statistical techniques for trial design and analysis. Led by Michael Kosorok of UNC, Marie Davidian of NCSU, and Stephen George of Duke, the project also involves numerous other faculty, including Sin-Ho Jung of Duke, Anastasios Tsiatis of NCSU, Joseph Ibrahim of UNC, Danyu Lin of UNC, and Jianwen Cai of UNC.

The investigators will collaborate across the three institutions on five integrated research projects that tackle statistical challenges posed by complex clinical endpoints, missing data, meta-analysis and comparative effectiveness research, identification of diagnostic markers, the goal of personalized medicine, and development of optimal sequential courses of treatment.

The overarching objective is to make significant, innovative contributions to cancer trial design and analysis methods that have the potential to improve the efficiency and speed with which new therapies reach clinical practice. However, focus will be placed on development and dissemination of professionally designed software that implements new methods. The software will be made freely available, along with technical reports and program updates, on a dedicated program website now under development.

The program also will sponsor an annual research symposium, to be held in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

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