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Cancer study designs and other stories . . .

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 17 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4506

Cancer research is going through an excitingly hyperactive phase, in which new genomic transformations and biochemical mechanisms are discovered every day. Much of this information is being shared in real time, but this brings with it problems of communication. When looking at the evaluation of prognostic and predictive biomarkers for personalising cancer care, investigators found that in just 88 papers, authors used 315 labels to describe their study designs, of which 134 were unique (Clinical Cancer Research 2013, doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3722). The authors were able to reduce these to five broad categories in patient flow: single arm, enrichment, randomise-all, and biomarker strategy designs, plus combinations of the four categories.

The greatest good for the greatest number: the provision of good primary healthcare for the Chinese population must come high on any utilitarian wish list. At present, 1345 million people in the country are served by 3.28 million primary healthcare workers. The Chinese government would like to expand these workers’ role and their numbers, but that will need motivation …

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