Clinical Trial Methods

  • M. K. Palmer
  • R. Swindell


This chapter describes some of the statistical methods which the radiotherapist and oncologist are likely to need in order to evaluate critically the effectiveness of treatment for cancer. One of the oldest and greatest errors in medicine is the assumption that treatment is necessarily beneficial. The correct scientific attitude ought to be one of scepticism: a new drug or a new X-ray machine is not always better than its predecessors and may in fact be harmful. Well-established as well as new methods of treatment throughout medicine need to be continually evaluated for both efficacy and safety.


Survival Curve Life Table Failure Time Survival Percentage Relative Survival Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Armitage P (1971) Statistical methods in medical research. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford and EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  2. Case RAM, Coghill C, Hartley JL, Peason JT (1970) The Chester Beatty Research Institute serial abridged life tables, England and Wales 1841–1870. Chester Beatty Research InstituteGoogle Scholar
  3. Castle W (1972) Statistics in small doses. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh and LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Cox R (1972) Regression models and life tables. J R Stat Soc B 34: 187–202Google Scholar
  5. Donner A (1984) Approaches to sample size estimation in the design of clinical trials — a review. Stat Med 3: 199–214PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (1988) Effects of adjuvant Tamoxifen and of cytotoxic therapy on mortality in early breast cancer. N Engl J Med 319: 1681–1692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Freedman LS (1982) Tables of the number of patients required in clinical trials using the logrank test. Stats Med 1: 121–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Haybittle JL et al. (1982) A prognostic index in primary breast cancer. Br J Cancer 45: 361–366PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Palmer MK et al. (1980) A score at diagnosis for predicting length of remission in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Br J Cancer 42: 841–849PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Peto R et al. (1976) Design and analysis of randomised clinical trials requiring prolonged observation of each patient, Part I. Br J Cancer 34: 585–612PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Peto R et al. (1977) Design and analysis of randomised clinical trials requiring prolonged observation of each patient, Part II. Br J Cancer 35: 1–38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. K. Palmer
  • R. Swindell

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations