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Medical Physics Seminar – Monday, November 19, 2012

Do we need randomized controlled trials in radiation oncology?

Dr. Thomas R. Mackie, Emeritus Professor, Departments of Medical Physics and Human Oncology
Dr. Soren Bentzen, Professor, Department of Human Oncology

Randomized controlled trials (phase III trials) are relatively rare in radiation oncology for a number of diverse reasons. Critics claim that when they are done they are victim of conformation to the lowest common denominator and that it would make more sense to observe by data mining the outcomes of the current diversity of treatment regimens than to promote formal clinical trials. Accuracy of record keeping including dosimetry and anatomical coverage would be critical for this approach. Proponents of randomized controlled trials argue that they are the only type of clinical study that will guarantee an – on average – unbiased assessment of comparative effectiveness of two therapeutic strategies. We will argue the two sides of this issue and open up for a discussion with audience participation at the end of the session.

Location: 1345 (HSLC) Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705

Time: 4:00PM-5:00PM

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