Prostate cancer partnership honored for statistical excellence in accelerating therapeutic advances

Newswise – The Intermediate Clinical Endpoints of Cancer of the Prostate (ICECaP) Working Group, led by Christopher Sweeney, MBBS, Wanling Xie, MS, and Meredith Regan, ScD of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is honored by the American Statistical Association (ASA) with the 2021 Statistical Partnerships Among Academe, Industry, and Government (SPAIG) Award.

The ICECaP Working Group is recognized “for building a statistically solid and solid foundation for accelerating therapies for men with prostate cancer, and for partnering with academia, industry and government worldwide.” It consists of more than 50 researchers, including statisticians, medical oncologists, urologists, radiotherapists and health economists from various global institutions, industry and government. Sweeney, of Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genito-Urinary Oncology, is the president of ICECaP.

Initially, the goal of ICECaP was to collect data from all available clinical trials for early stage prostate cancer to determine whether an intermediate clinical endpoint – an early measure of therapeutic efficacy – could provide an early readout of the ability of a therapy to reduce mortality from prostate cancer. Over the years, the partnership has expanded to identify intermediate endpoints in men with advanced prostate cancer and has also explored the health economic implications of accelerating therapeutic progress and opportunities to increase the harmonization of clinical research in prostate cancer.

“This initiative was successful because of the collaboration between a core group of statisticians, reinforced by statisticians from clinical trial cooperative groups. Their expertise maximized the knowledge gained from the more than 40,000 individual patient data shared by the members of the ICECaP working group,” said Sweeney.

The SPAIG award recognizes the statistical team of the ICECaP working group. Xie and Regan of Dana-Farber’s Department of Data Science lead the statistical collaboration. Marc Buyse, PhD, of International Drug Development Institute, Inc. (IDDI) and Susan Halabi, PhD, of Duke University act as outside statistical advisors. Also named in the award are Laurence Collette, PhD, MSc, of IDDI; Catherine Tangen, PhD, of the SWOG Cancer Research Network; Matt Sydes, PhD, MSc, Max Parmar, PhD, and Jayne Tierney, PhD, of the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit; Boris Freidlin, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute; and James Dignam, PhD, of NRG Oncology. The many other ICECaP contributors are listed at

“The ICECaP working group brought together statisticians who have spent much of their careers on clinical trials and research in prostate cancer. I am so grateful for this honor from the ASA in recognizing our collaboration and highlighting the integral role of statisticians in improving care for men diagnosed with prostate cancer,” said Regan.

The SPAIG Award was created in 2002 to honor outstanding statistical partnerships between academic, industrial and government organizations and to promote new partnerships between these organizations. This award will be presented at the ASA Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM) on August 10, 2021.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers for cancer research and treatment. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific research, clinical care, education, community engagement and advocacy. Dana-Farber is a federally designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and an education affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

We provide the latest cancer treatments for adults through the Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and for children through the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is the only hospital in the entire country with a top 5 US News & World Report Best Cancer Hospital ranking in both adult and pediatric care.

As a global leader in oncology, Dana-Farber is committed to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discoveries into new treatments for patients locally and around the world, with more than 1,100 clinical trials.

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