Individual patient data meta-analysis in cancer.
Clarke M., Stewart L., Pignon JP., Bijnens L.
As in many areas of health care, treatments for cancer may differ only moderately in their effects on major end points, such as death. But, such differences are worth knowing about, particularly in common diseases in which they could represent a substantial benefit to public health. Large-scale randomized evidence allows moderate differences to be investigated reliably, and one way to achieve this is by meta-analyses of updated and centrally collected individual patient data from all relevant trials. This paper illustrates why this form of research can often be important in cancer. It also offers the first list of such projects, as a source of information on current and past research in this area.