I need some collaborators for a grant I am writing from people who conduct prospective clinical trials. I am working on methods to monitor patient accrual in clinical trials. Accrual means how rapidly do patients enter into a clinical trial. In my experience, researchers overpromise and underdeliver on the time frame in which they expect to recruit a certain number of patients.
With a colleague, I have developed a Bayesian model that can forecast the remaining duration of a clinical trial given prior beliefs about accrual and accrual rates observed in the trial so far. This would allow researchers to notice quickly when they are experiencing accrual rates that are much slower than expected. I’m hoping that early notice would allow researchers to take corrective action before it’s too late. If you realize in the eleventh month of a twelve month trial that you’ve only recruited a third of the patients you were hoping to get, then it is too late to fix things. But if you notice this when during the second month, a small correction to staffing levels or a minor modification on the recruitment procedure might get you back on track.
I’d really like to work with someone who has access to lots of clinical trials to examine the general patterns of accrual and how often researchers provide overly optimistic estimates of the duration of a clinical trial. I’d also like to test my software on a few prospective trials to see how it performs in a real world setting. If you know someone who can help with this, I’d be very grateful if you could put me in touch with them.
You can find an earlier version of this page on my original website.