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Concept: Informed consent


 To determine rates of publication and reporting of results within two years for all completed clinical trials registered in across leading academic medical centers in the United States.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Informed consent, United States, Avicenna,


Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) are associated with an increased risk of respiratory tract infections (RTIs). Clinical trials with vitamin D(3) against various infections have been carried out but data are so far not conclusive. Thus, there is a need for additional randomised controlled trials of effects of vitamin D(3) on infections.

Concepts: Vitamin D, Clinical trial, Informed consent, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness,


This is a response to Dr Charlotte Rosalind Blease’s paper ‘Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), the Placebo Effect and Informed Consent’, written by Julie K. Hersh who has had ECT. Hersh argues that placebo effect is impossible to prove without endangering the lives of participants in the study. In addition, informing potential ECT patients of unproven placebo effect could discourage patients from using a procedure that from experience has proven highly effective.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Medical terms, Patient, Informed consent, Patience, Clinical research, Electroconvulsive therapy, Declaration of Helsinki


BACKGROUND: Surgical conditions in laparoscopic surgery are largely determined by the depth of neuromuscular relaxation. Especially in procedures that are confined to a narrow working field, such as retroperitoneal laparoscopic surgery, deep neuromuscular relaxation may be beneficial. Until recently, though, deep neuromuscular block (NMB) came at the expense of a variety of issues that conflicted with its use. However, with the introduction of sugammadex, rapid reversal of a deep NMB is feasible. In the current protocol, the association between the depth of NMB and rating of surgical conditions by the surgeon and anesthesiologist is studied.Methods/design: This is a single-center, prospective, randomized, blinded, parallel group and controlled trial. Eligible patients are randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) deep NMB (post-tetanic count, one or two twitches; n = 12) and (2) moderate NMB (train-of-four, 1 to 2 twitches, n = 12) by administration of high-dose rocuronium in Group 1 and a combination of atracurium and mivacurium in Group 2. The NMB in Group 1 is reversed by 4 mg/kg sugammadex; the NMB in Group 2 by 1 mg neostigmine and 0.5 mg atropine. Patients are eligible if they are over 18 years, willing to sign the informed consent form, and are scheduled to undergo an elective laparoscopic renal procedure or laparoscopic prostatectomy. A single surgeon performs the surgeries and rates the surgical conditions on a five-point surgical rating scale (SRS) ranging from 1 (poor surgical conditions) to 5 (excellent surgical conditions). The intra-abdominal part of the surgeries is captured on video and a group of five anesthesiologists and ten surgical experts will rate the videos using the same SRS. The primary analysis will be an intention-to-treat analysis. Evaluation will include the association between the level of NMB and SRS, as obtained by the surgeon performing the procedure and the agreement between the scoring of the images by anesthesiologists and surgeons. DISCUSSION: We aim to show that under the right conditions the perceived opposing goals of surgeons and anesthesiologists (optimal surgical conditions vs. optimal postoperative conditions) may be met without compromise to either.Trial registration: identifier NCT01631149.

Concepts: Informed consent, Hospital, Randomized controlled trial, Surgery, Physician, Anesthesia, Surgeon, Laparoscopic surgery


Background The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA) mandates timely reporting of results of applicable clinical trials to We characterized the proportion of applicable clinical trials with publicly available results and determined independent factors associated with the reporting of results. Methods Using an algorithm based on input from the National Library of Medicine, we identified trials that were likely to be subject to FDAAA provisions (highly likely applicable clinical trials, or HLACTs) from 2008 through 2013. We determined the proportion of HLACTs that reported results within the 12-month interval mandated by the FDAAA or at any time during the 5-year study period. We used regression models to examine characteristics associated with reporting at 12 months and throughout the 5-year study period. Results From all the trials at, we identified 13,327 HLACTs that were terminated or completed from January 1, 2008, through August 31, 2012. Of these trials, 77.4% were classified as drug trials. A total of 36.9% of the trials were phase 2 studies, and 23.4% were phase 3 studies; 65.6% were funded by industry. Only 13.4% of trials reported summary results within 12 months after trial completion, whereas 38.3% reported results at any time up to September 27, 2013. Timely reporting was independently associated with factors such as FDA oversight, a later trial phase, and industry funding. A sample review suggested that 45% of industry-funded trials were not required to report results, as compared with 6% of trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and 9% of trials that were funded by other government or academic institutions. Conclusions Despite ethical and legal obligations to disclose findings promptly, most HLACTs did not report results to in a timely fashion during the study period. Industry-funded trials adhered to legal obligations more often than did trials funded by the NIH or other government or academic institutions. (Funded by the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative and the NIH.).

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Informed consent,, Report, Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health


Background Randomized, controlled trials have suggested that the transfusion of blood after prolonged storage does not increase the risk of adverse outcomes among patients, although most of these trials were restricted to high-risk populations and were not powered to detect small but clinically important differences in mortality. We sought to find out whether the duration of blood storage would have an effect on mortality after transfusion in a general population of hospitalized patients. Methods In this pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial conducted at six hospitals in four countries, we randomly assigned patients who required a red-cell transfusion to receive blood that had been stored for the shortest duration (short-term storage group) or the longest duration (long-term storage group) in a 1:2 ratio. Only patients with type A or O blood were included in the primary analysis, since pilot data suggested that our goal of achieving a difference in the mean duration of blood storage of at least 10 days would not be possible with other blood types. Written informed consent was waived because all the patients received treatment consistent with the current standard of care. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality, which was estimated by means of a logistic-regression model after adjustment for study center and patient blood type. Results From April 2012 through October 2015, a total of 31,497 patients underwent randomization. Of these patients, 6761 who did not meet all the enrollment criteria were excluded after randomization. The primary analysis included 20,858 patients with type A or O blood. Of these patients, 6936 were assigned to the short-term storage group and 13,922 to the long-term storage group. The mean storage duration was 13.0 days in the short-term storage group and 23.6 days in the long-term storage group. There were 634 deaths (9.1%) in the short-term storage group and 1213 (8.7%) in the long-term storage group (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.16; P=0.34). When the analysis was expanded to include the 24,736 patients with any blood type, the results were similar, with rates of death of 9.1% and 8.8%, respectively (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.14; P=0.38). Additional results were consistent in three prespecified high-risk subgroups (patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery, those admitted to intensive care, and those with cancer). Conclusions Among patients in a general hospital population, there was no significant difference in the rate of death among those who underwent transfusion with the freshest available blood and those who underwent transfusion according to the standard practice of transfusing the oldest available blood. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and others; INFORM Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN08118744 .).

Concepts: Blood, Informed consent, Red blood cell, Hematology, Blood transfusion, Transfusion reaction, Blood bank


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


Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to restore communication for people with tetraplegia and anarthria by translating neural activity into control signals for assistive communication devices. While previous pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated promising proofs-of-concept (Serruya et al., 2002; Simeral et al., 2011; Bacher et al., 2015; Nuyujukian et al., 2015; Aflalo et al., 2015; Gilja et al., 2015; Jarosiewicz et al., 2015; Wolpaw et al., 1998; Hwang et al., 2012; Spüler et al., 2012; Leuthardt et al., 2004; Taylor et al., 2002; Schalk et al., 2008; Moran, 2010; Brunner et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2013; Townsend and Platsko, 2016; Vansteensel et al., 2016; Nuyujukian et al., 2016; Carmena et al., 2003; Musallam et al., 2004; Santhanam et al., 2006; Hochberg et al., 2006; Ganguly et al., 2011; O'Doherty et al., 2011; Gilja et al., 2012), the performance of human clinical BCI systems is not yet high enough to support widespread adoption by people with physical limitations of speech. Here we report a high-performance intracortical BCI (iBCI) for communication, which was tested by three clinical trial participants with paralysis. The system leveraged advances in decoder design developed in prior pre-clinical and clinical studies (Gilja et al., 2015; Kao et al., 2016; Gilja et al., 2012). For all three participants, performance exceeded previous iBCIs (Bacher et al., 2015; Jarosiewicz et al., 2015) as measured by typing rate (by a factor of 1.4-4.2) and information throughput (by a factor of 2.2-4.0). This high level of performance demonstrates the potential utility of iBCIs as powerful assistive communication devices for people with limited motor function.Clinical Trial No: NCT00912041.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Informed consent, Years in the future, 2010s


OpenTrials is a collaborative and open database for all available structured data and documents on all clinical trials, threaded together by individual trial. With a versatile and expandable data schema, it is initially designed to host and match the following documents and data for each trial: registry entries; links, abstracts, or texts of academic journal papers; portions of regulatory documents describing individual trials; structured data on methods and results extracted by systematic reviewers or other researchers; clinical study reports; and additional documents such as blank consent forms, blank case report forms, and protocols. The intention is to create an open, freely re-usable index of all such information and to increase discoverability, facilitate research, identify inconsistent data, enable audits on the availability and completeness of this information, support advocacy for better data and drive up standards around open data in evidence-based medicine. The project has phase I funding. This will allow us to create a practical data schema and populate the database initially through web-scraping, basic record linkage techniques, crowd-sourced curation around selected drug areas, and import of existing sources of structured and documents. It will also allow us to create user-friendly web interfaces onto the data and conduct user engagement workshops to optimise the database and interface designs. Where other projects have set out to manually and perfectly curate a narrow range of information on a smaller number of trials, we aim to use a broader range of techniques and attempt to match a very large quantity of information on all trials. We are currently seeking feedback and additional sources of structured data.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Informed consent, The Canon of Medicine, Avicenna,, Case report form


The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) believes that there is an ethical obligation to responsibly share data generated by interventional clinical trials because participants have put themselves at risk. In a growing consensus, many funders around the world - foundations, government agencies, and industry - now mandate data sharing. Here we outline the ICMJE’s proposed requirements to help meet this obligation. We encourage feedback on the proposed requirements. Anyone can provide feedback at by 18 April 2016. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to . . .

Concepts: Clinical trial, Informed consent, Avicenna,