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Methodological research relating to studies of prognosis, studies of therapy, and a new dissemination initiative relating to the conduct and reporting of oncology research. Provision of full statistical collaboration in cancer studies, especially clinical trials, as the sole statisticians in substantial research projects.

The Medical Statistics Group has two major streams of activity:

  • The Methodology team conducts a large programme of applied statistical research of practical relevance to clinicians and medical researchers, relating especially to studies of prognosis and therapy.
  • The Support Team provides statistical input at all stages of a large number of clinical trials and other clinical research projects from design to publication, to ensure that clear questions are answered to further clinical and scientific knowledge

One major role of the MSG is to carry out applied statistical research, in particular on topics relevant to clinical oncology. Sound methodology underpins medical research and improvements in methodology have wide potential benefits. The nature of our methodology research programme was well summarised by a reviewer of our last proposal in 2008:

The focus is not on "academic‟ development of mathematical nuances with no
possible application in medical research, but rather it is much more about making
sure that methods which are already accepted amongst statisticians are representing
good practice are adopted far more widely in practice.”Prof Douglas Altman

Much of our programme may be seen as research into how to do better clinical research. Our statistical research aims to have practical relevance, directly or indirectly, to clinicians and/or medical researchers, and so should have the potential ultimately to benefit patients.
Much of our research, especially on prognostic and diagnostic studies, is in important clinical
areas where there is surprisingly little statistical research activity.