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Concept: Clinical data acquisition

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The Common Rule is a set of ethical principles that provide guidance on the management of human subjects taking part in biomedical and behavioral research in the United States. The elements of the Common Rule were initially developed in 1981 following a revision of the Declaration of Helsinki in 1975. Most academic facilities follow the Common Rule in the regulation of clinical trials research. Recently, the government has suggested a revision of the Common Rule to include more contemporary and streamlined oversight of clinical research. In this commentary, the leadership of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) provides their opinion on this plan. While the Society recognizes the considerable contribution of clinical research in supporting progress in tumor immunotherapy and supports the need for revisions to the Common Rule, there is also some concern over certain elements which may restrict access to biospecimens and clinical data at a time when high throughput technologies, computational biology and assay standardization is allowing major advances in understanding cancer biology and providing potential predictive biomarkers of immunotherapy response. The Society values its professional commitment to patients for improving clinical outcomes with tumor immunotherapy and supports continued discussion with all stakeholders before implementing changes to the Common Rule in order to ensure maximal patient protections while promoting continued clinical research at this historic time in cancer research.

Concepts: The Canon of Medicine, Clinical data acquisition, Informed consent, United States, Cancer, Clinical trial, United States Declaration of Independence, Clinical research

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Despite recent efforts to enforce policies requiring the sharing of data underlying clinical findings, current policies of biomedical journals remain largely heterogeneous. As this heterogeneity does not optimally serve the cause of data sharing, a first step towards better harmonization would be the requirement of a data sharing statement for all clinical studies and not simply for randomized studies. Although the publication of a data sharing statement does not imply that all data is made readily available, such a policy would swiftly implement a cultural change in the definition of scientific outputs. Currently, a scientific output only corresponds to a study report published in a medical journal, while in the near future it might consist of all materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data. When such a cultural shift has been achieved, the logical conclusion would be for biomedical journals to require authors to make all data fully available without restriction as a condition for publication.

Concepts: Avicenna, Orphan drug, Cultural studies, Implementation, Clinical data acquisition, Output, Policy, Data

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For patients with advanced indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) or elderly patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), the recently reported results of the German StiL NHL-1 2003 and the international BRIGHT phase III trials showed that, as first-line treatment, the combination of bendamustine and rituximab is at least as effective as rituximab/cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone or rituximab/cyclophosphamide/vincristine/prednisone, possibly with a better therapeutic index. Bendamustine is therefore increasingly used in clinical practice. Because bendamustine has been used for many years in Germany and in Switzerland, our institutions have had extensive experience with bendamustine, both as a single agent and in combination with rituximab. In this comprehensive review, we summarize the most important clinical data from phase II/III trials with bendamustine in patients with indolent NHL and MCL, both in the relapsed/refractory setting and in the first-line setting. In addition, this review provides practical advice on how to optimally manage bendamustine therapy in patients with NHL.

Concepts: Good clinical practice, Pharmaceutical industry, Germany, Clinical data acquisition, Mantle cell lymphoma, Clinical trial

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OBJECTIVE:To review clinical data on the use of the long-acting anticholinergic agent tiotropium in patients with asthma.DATA SOURCES:A literature search was performed via EMBASE and MEDLINE (1966-November 2012). The search was limited to human data published in the English language. Search terms included asthma, tiotropium, and long-acting anticholinergics.STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION:Relevant information related to the use of tiotropium in patients with asthma was reviewed. Randomized controlled trials and open-label trials were included. The references of published articles identified in the search were also examined for additional studies appropriate to include in the review. Data were prioritized if they originated from human studies, especially if derived from randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Trials and case reports involving the use of long-acting anticholinergic tiotropium in asthma patients were included; conversely, trials involving ipratropium were not.DATA SYNTHESIS:Two large randomized controlled trials support the safety and efficacy of adding tiotropium to the treatment regimen of select patients with poorly controlled asthma already receiving combination high-dose glucocorticosteroid/long-acting β-agonist (LABA) therapy. Pharmacogenomic studies have shown that patients with polymorphisms of the β2-adrenoreceptor (ADRB2; 16 Arg/Arg and 16 Arg/Gly) are particularly responsive to treatment with tiotropium. Smaller studies indicate that the advantages may be most pronounced in patients with a predominance of sputum neutrophils and that tiotropium can assist with decreasing the inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) dose. An increased risk of cardiovascular events was not identified.CONCLUSIONS:Tiotropium should be considered in patients with asthma who remain symptomatic while receiving high-dose ICS and LABA therapy. Specifically, patients with high sputum neutrophil levels or with 16 Arg/Arg or 16 Arg/Gly polymorphism of the ADRB2 gene appear to respond best.

Concepts: Clinical data acquisition, Pharmacology, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Corticosteroid, Tiotropium, Randomized controlled trial, Anticholinergic, Asthma

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Long-term follow-up care of survivors after burn injuries can potentially be improved by the application of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). PROMs can inform clinical decision-making and foster communication between the patient and provider. There are no previous reports using real-time, burn-specific PROMs in clinical practice to track and benchmark burn recovery over time. This study examines the feasibility of a computerized, burn-specific PROM, the Young Adult Burn Outcome Questionnaire (YABOQ), with real-time benchmarking feedback in a burn outpatient practice. The YABOQ was redesigned for formatting and presentation purposes using images and transcribed to a computerized format. The redesigned questionnaire was administered to young adult burn survivors (ages 19-30 years, 1-24 months from injury) via an ipad platform in the office before outpatient visits. A report including recovery curves benchmarked to a nonburned relatively healthy age-matched population and to patients with similar injuries was produced for the domains of physical function and social function limited by appearance. A copy of the domain reports as well as a complete copy of the patient’s responses to all domain questions was provided for use during the clinical visit. Patients and clinicians completed satisfaction surveys at the conclusion of the visit. Free-text responses, included in the satisfaction surveys, were treated as qualitative data adding contextual information about the assessment of feasibility. Eleven patients and their providers completed the study for 12 clinical visits. All patients found the ipad survey and report “easy” or “very easy” to use. In nine instances, patients “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that it helped them communicate their situation to their doctor/nurse practitioner. Patients “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the report helped them understand their course of recovery in 10 visits. In 11 visits, the patients “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they would recommend this feedback to others. Qualitative comments included: “it helped organize my thoughts of recovery,” “it opened lines of communication with the doctor,” “it showed me how far I have come, and how far I need to go,” and “it raised questions I would not have thought of.” Only four of 12 provider surveys agreed that it helped them understand a patient’s condition; however, in two visits, the providers stated that it helped identify a pertinent clinical issue. During two visits, providers stated that a treatment plan was discussed or recommended based on the survey results. Separately, qualitative comments from the providers included “survey was not sensitive enough to identify that this patient needed surgery for their scars.” This is the first report describing clinical use of a burn-specific patient reported outcome measure. Real-time feedback using the ipad YABOQ was well received for the most part by the clinicians and burn survivors in the outpatient clinic setting. The information provided by the reports can be tested in a future randomized controlled clinical study evaluating impacts on physician decisions.

Concepts: Physician, Clinical data acquisition, Patient, Clinical trial, Clinical research, Clinical trial protocol, Clinic, Hospital

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White spot lesions (WSL) frequently occur as side-effect of multibracket appliance treatment. The clinical effects of local fluoridation on post-orthodontic WSL and oral health development are however inconclusive.

Concepts: Water fluoridation, ClinicalTrials.gov, Evaluation methods, Effectiveness, Health care, Placebo, Clinical trial, Clinical data acquisition

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Objective Many patients with psoriasis have developed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) whereas few reports on psoriasis-associated APL were found in the published literature. This study was aimed to study the etiology, clinical characteristics, and prognosis of psoriasis-associated APL and to map a suitable treatment regime for this condition. Methods This study retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 17 patients with psoriasis-associated APL diagnosed and treated in our hospital in the past decade. Results The 17 patients accounted for 8.3% of the total patients diagnosed with de novo APL during the same period in our hospital. Their clinical characteristics of APL were similar to those of general APL. Four patients had a definite history of taking bimolane. All patients received arsenic trioxide (ATO)-based remission induction and postremission treatment. After induction, 15 patients (88%) achieved hematologic complete remission. With a median follow-up of 27 months, the 3-year estimates of overall survival were 77.2% ± 12.4% and the 3-year estimates of event-free survival were 70.6% ± 13.5%. In addition, the ATO-based remission induction and postremission treatment significantly improved psoriasis symptoms in 83 and 85.7% of patients, respectively. Through the final follow-up, no chronic arsenicosis or secondary malignancy was observed. Conclusions Psoriasis patients are at high risk for APL. The increased risk is most likely associated with the genetic background and bimolane treatment. The ATO-based therapy is especially suitable for patients with psoriasis-associated APL. Our study also brings a new treatment option for psoriasis.

Concepts: Types of cancer, Clinical data acquisition, Medical terms, Arsenic trioxide, Blood disorders, Arsenic, Leukemia, Acute promyelocytic leukemia

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Over the past 10 years, thousands of first-into-human (FIH) clinical trials have been performed in Europe, with few severe adverse events (SAEs). Each has received detailed prior safety review at both the local clinical research facility and at national drug regulatory authority level. The recent fatal SAE in the BIA-102474-101 clinical trial shows the limitations of this process. Although criticized for not sequentially dosing subjects both within and between cohorts - as recommended by the European Medicines Agency for high-risk compounds after the TeGenero clinical trial disaster in 2006 - BIA-102474-101 was not considered to be high risk. Indeed, compounds with similar mechanisms of action had previously been taken through phase I and II trials without incident, and higher doses had been safely given for longer durations to nonhuman primates. If the available data are comprehensive and accurate, and further investigation does not reveal unreported warning signs, this study has serious implications for ongoing and future review of FIH clinical trials. All preclinical study documents and clinical data collected during the BIA-102474-101 trial should be made available urgently so that lessons can be learnt. In the meantime, reviewers and clinical researchers should always ask for information on drug and target interactions and full reports of preclinical toxicity studies, and plan sequential dosing with longer delays between patients and cohorts, particularly if late SAEs might be anticipated. The use of individual patient pharmacokinetic and dynamic data should guide sequential dosing. A process for systematic risk assessment, like that currently used in the Netherlands, should be applied routinely to all trials with novel compounds.

Concepts: ClinicalTrials.gov, Clinical data acquisition, Adverse event, Food and Drug Administration, Pharmaceutical industry, Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Clinical research

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BACKGROUND: The efficacy of RTS,S/AS01 as a vaccine for malaria is being tested in a phase 3 clinical trial. Early results show significant, albeit partial, protection against clinical malaria and severe malaria. To ascertain variations in vaccine efficacy according to covariates such as transmission intensity, choice of adjuvant, age at vaccination, and bednet use, we did an individual-participant pooled analysis of phase 2 clinical data. METHODS: We analysed data from 11 different sites in Africa, including 4453 participants. We measured heterogeneity in vaccine efficacy by estimating the interactions between covariates and vaccination in pooled multivariable Cox regression and Poisson regression analyses. Endpoints for measurement of vaccine efficacy were infection, clinical malaria, severe malaria, and death. We defined transmission intensity levels according to the estimated local parasite prevalence in children aged 2-10 years (PrP2-10), ranging from 5% to 80%. Choice of adjuvant was either AS01 or AS02. FINDINGS: Vaccine efficacy against all episodes of clinical malaria varied by transmission intensity (p=0·001). At low transmission (PrP2-10 10%) vaccine efficacy was 60% (95% CI 54 to 67), at moderate transmission (PrP2-10 20%) it was 41% (21 to 57), and at high transmission (PrP2-10 70%) the efficacy was 4% (-10 to 22). Vaccine efficacy also varied by adjuvant choice (p<0·0001)-eg, at low transmission (PrP2-10 10%), efficacy varied from 60% (95% CI 54 to 67) for AS01 to 47% (14 to 75) for AS02. Variations in efficacy by age at vaccination were of borderline significance (p=0·038), and bednet use and sex were not significant covariates. Vaccine efficacy (pooled across adjuvant choice and transmission intensity) varied significantly (p<0·0001) according to time since vaccination, from 36% efficacy (95% CI 24 to 45) at time of vaccination to 0% (-38 to 38) after 3 years. INTERPRETATION: Vaccine efficacy against clinical disease was of limited duration and was not detectable 3 years after vaccination. Furthermore, efficacy fell with increasing transmission intensity. Outcomes after vaccination cannot be gauged accurately on the basis of one pooled efficacy figure. However, predictions of public-health outcomes of vaccination will need to take account of variations in efficacy by transmission intensity and by time since vaccination. FUNDING: Medical Research Council (UK); Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Vaccine Modelling Initiative; Wellcome Trust.

Concepts: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinical trial, Immune system, Vaccination, Clinical data acquisition, Regression analysis, Vaccine, Malaria

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Since its founding in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has been committed to improving cancer outcomes through research and the delivery of quality care. Research is the bedrock of discovering better treatments-providing hope to the millions of individuals who face a cancer diagnosis each year.The studies featured in “Clinical Cancer Advances 2013: Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer From the American Society of Clinical Oncology” represent the invaluable contributions of thousands of patients who participate in clinical trials and the scientists who conduct basic and clinical research. The insights described in this report, such as how cancers hide from the immune system and why cancers may become resistant to targeted drugs, enable us to envision a future in which cancer will be even more controllable and preventable.The scientific process is thoughtful, deliberate, and sometimes slow, but each advance, while helping patients, now also points toward new research questions and unexplored opportunities. Both dramatic and subtle breakthroughs occur so that progress against cancer typically builds over many years. Success requires vision, persistence, and a long-term commitment to supporting cancer research and training.Our nation’s longstanding investment in federally funded cancer research has contributed significantly to a growing array of effective new treatments and a much deeper understanding of the drivers of cancer. But despite this progress, our position as a world leader in advancing medical knowledge and our ability to attract the most promising and talented investigators are now threatened by an acute problem: Federal funding for cancer research has steadily eroded over the past decade, and only 15% of the ever-shrinking budget is actually spent on clinical trials. This dismal reality threatens the pace of progress against cancer and undermines our ability to address the continuing needs of our patients.Despite this extremely challenging economic environment, we continue to make progress. Maintaining and accelerating that progress require that we keep our eyes on the future and pursue a path that builds on the stunning successes of the past. We must continue to show our policymakers the successes in cancer survival and quality of life (QOL) they have enabled, emphasizing the need to sustain our national investment in the remarkably productive US cancer research enterprise.We must also look to innovative methods for transforming how we care for-and learn from-patients with cancer. Consider, for example, that fewer than 5% of adult patients with cancer currently participate in clinical trials. What if we were able to draw lessons from the other 95%? This possibility led ASCO this year to launch CancerLinQ, a groundbreaking health information technology initiative that will provide physicians with access to vast quantities of clinical data about real-world patients and help achieve higher quality, higher value cancer care.As you read the following pages, I hope our collective progress against cancer over the past year inspires you. More importantly, I hope the pride you feel motivates you to help us accelerate the pace of scientific advancement.Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACPPresidentAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology.

Concepts: Clinical data acquisition, The Canon of Medicine, Cancer research, Clinical trial, Immune system, Oncology, Medicine, Cancer