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New approach to vaccine trials

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2594
  1. Michael Day
  1. 1Milan

A new approach to trials of HIV vaccines that weeds out dud vaccine candidates as soon as possible is vital to accelerate the “painfully slow” progress in the field, say a group of AIDS scientists.

The basis of their proposals is “adaptive” clinical trial design, where doctors look immediately for signs of effectiveness and ditch a vaccine candidate quickly or change the trial design, if there are no such signs.

The researchers write in Science Translational Medicine (Sci Transl Med 2011;3:79ps13; doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001863) that the technique would cull the research red herrings that have slowed progress for decades, and boost knowledge about biological markers that can indicate …

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