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Considerations for adaptive design in pediatric clinical trials: study protocol for a systematic review, mixed-methods study, and integrated knowle…

A new interesting article has been published in Trials. 2018 Oct 19;19(1):572. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-2934-7. and titled:

Considerations for adaptive design in pediatric clinical trials: study protocol for a systematic review, mixed-methods study, and integrated knowle…

Authors of this article are:

Kelly LE,, Dyson MP, Butcher NJ, Balshaw R, London AJ, Neilson CJ, Junker A0, Mahmud SM,, Driedger SM, Wang X.

A summary of the article is shown below:

BACKGROUND: Although children have historically been excluded from clinical trials (CTs), many require medicines tested and approved in CTs, forcing health care providers to treat their pediatric patients based on extrapolated data. Unfortunately, traditional randomized CTs can be slow and resource-intensive, and they often require multi-center collaboration. However, an adaptive design (AD) framework for CTs could be used to increase the efficiency of pediatric CTs by incorporating prospectively planned modifications to CT methods without undermining the integrity or validity of the study. There are many possible adaptations, but each will have ethical, logistical, and statistical implications. It remains unclear which adaptations (or combinations thereof) will lead to real-world improvements in pediatric CT efficiency. This study will identify, evaluate, and synthesize the various regulatory, ethical, logistical, and statistical considerations and emerging issues of AD in CTs that could be used to evaluate the use of drugs in children.METHODS/DESIGN: Following the development of a peer-reviewed search strategy, a systematic review on AD in CTs will be conducted. Data on regulatory, ethical, logistic, and statistical considerations as well as population and trial design characteristics will be synthesized. A mixed-methods study including surveys and focus groups with regulators, research ethics board members, biostatisticians, clinicians, and scientists, as well as representatives from patient groups and the public will evaluate the opportunities and challenges in applying AD in trials enrolling children and propose recommendations on best practices.DISCUSSION: This study will deliver practical recommendations on the use of AD in pediatric CTs. Collaboration and consultation with national and global partners will ensure that our results meet the needs of researchers, regulators, and patients, both locally and globally, and that they remain current and relevant by engaging a wide variety of stakeholders. Overall, this research will enrich the knowledge base regarding if, how, and when AD can be used to answer research questions with fewer resources while still meeting the highest ethical standards and regulatory requirements for CTs. In turn, this will result in increased high-quality clinical research needed by health care providers so they have access to appropriate, population-specific evidence regarding the safe and effective use of medicines in children.

Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:



This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:

Adaptive design;Child health;Clinical trials;Extrapolation;Research ethics

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