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Journal Articles Therapies Year : 2024

Data Monitoring Committees and clinical trials: from scientific justification to organisation

Peggy Derambure
  • Function : Author
Alix Avakiantz
  • Function : Author
Claire Bahans
  • Function : Author
Pierre Fustier
  • Function : Author
Cecile Train
  • Function : Author
Michel Cucherat

Abstract

Clinical trials often last several months or even several years. As the trial progresses, it can be tempting to find out whether the data obtained already answers the question posed at the start of the trial in order to stop inclusions or monitoring earlier. However, knowing and taking into account interim results can sometimes compromise the integrity of the results, which is counterproductive. To minimise this risk and ensure that the treatments are assessed reliably, safety and/or efficacy criteria are monitored during the study by a Data Monitoring Committee. After receiving the results confidentially, the Data Monitoring Committee assesses the benefit/risk ratio of the study treatment and recommends that the trial be continued, modified or terminated. Data Monitoring Committee members issuing these recommendations have an important responsibility: a hasty decision to end the trial may lead to inconclusive results unable to answer the initial question and, inversely, delaying the decision to end the trial may expose the subjects to potentially ineffective or even harmful interventions. The Data Monitoring Committee's task is therefore particularly complex. With this in mind, the round table discussion at the Giens workshops was a chance to review the scientific justification for creating Data Monitoring Committees and to recall the need for their members to receive comprehensive training on the complexities of multiple analyses, confidentiality requirements applying to the results and the need for them to be aware that recommendations to end a trial must be based on data that is robust enough to assess the benefit/risk ratio of the treatment studied.
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hal-04350974 , version 1 (25-04-2024)

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Clara Locher, Silvy Laporte, Peggy Derambure, Olivier Chassany, Cécile Girault, et al.. Data Monitoring Committees and clinical trials: from scientific justification to organisation. Therapies, 2024, 79 (1), pp.111-121. ⟨10.1016/j.therap.2023.12.002⟩. ⟨hal-04350974⟩
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