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2.
Value Health ; 24(5): 641-647, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1126957

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Researchers studying treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have reported findings of randomized trials comparing standard care with care augmented by experimental drugs. Many trials have small sample sizes, so estimates of treatment effects are imprecise. Hence, clinicians may find it difficult to decide when to treat patients with experimental drugs. A conventional practice when comparing standard care and an innovation is to choose the innovation only if the estimated treatment effect is positive and statistically significant. This practice defers to standard care as the status quo. We study treatment choice from the perspective of statistical decision theory, which considers treatment options symmetrically when assessing trial findings. METHODS: We use the concept of near-optimality to evaluate criteria for treatment choice. This concept jointly considers the probability and magnitude of decision errors. An appealing criterion from this perspective is the empirical success rule, which chooses the treatment with the highest observed average patient outcome in the trial. RESULTS: Considering the design of some COVID-19 trials, we show that the empirical success rule yields treatment choices that are much closer to optimal than those generated by prevailing decision criteria based on hypothesis tests. CONCLUSION: Using trial findings to make near-optimal treatment choices rather than perform hypothesis tests should improve clinical decision making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Clinical Trial Protocols as Topic , Decision Making , Research Design/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Data Accuracy , Humans , Research Design/statistics & numerical data
3.
Clin Trials ; 18(3): 324-334, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Clinical trials, conducted efficiently and with the utmost integrity, are a key component in identifying effective vaccines, therapies, and other interventions urgently needed to solve the COVID-19 crisis. Yet launching and implementing trials with the rigor necessary to produce convincing results is a complicated and time-consuming process. Balancing rigor and efficiency involves relying on designs that employ flexible features to respond to a fast-changing landscape, measuring valid endpoints that result in translational actions and disseminating findings in a timely manner. We describe the challenges involved in creating infrastructure with potential utility for shared learning. METHODS: We have established a shared infrastructure that borrows strength across multiple trials. The infrastructure includes an endpoint registry to aid in selecting appropriate endpoints, a registry to facilitate establishing a Data & Safety Monitoring Board, common data collection instruments, a COVID-19 dedicated design and analysis team, and a pragmatic platform protocol, among other elements. RESULTS: The authors have relied on the shared infrastructure for six clinical trials for which they serve as the Data Coordinating Center and have a design and analysis team comprising 15 members who are dedicated to COVID-19. The authors established a pragmatic platform to simultaneously investigate multiple treatments for the outpatient with adaptive features to add or drop treatment arms. CONCLUSION: The shared infrastructure provides appealing opportunities to evaluate disease in a more robust manner with fewer resources and is especially valued during a pandemic where efficiency in time and resources is crucial. The most important element of the shared infrastructure is the pragmatic platform. While it may be the most challenging of the elements to establish, it may provide the greatest benefit to both patients and researchers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Pandemics , Clinical Trial Protocols as Topic , Clinical Trials Data Monitoring Committees , Endpoint Determination , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Ann Epidemiol ; 49: 50-60, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-703961

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The U.S. response to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic has been hampered by early and ongoing delays in testing for infection; without data on where infections were occurring and the magnitude of the epidemic, early public health responses were not data-driven. Understanding the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections and immune response is critical to developing and implementing effective public health responses. Most serological surveys have been limited to localities that opted to conduct them and/or were based on convenience samples. Moreover, results of antibody testing might be subject to high false positive rates in the setting of low prevalence of immune response and imperfect test specificity. METHODS: We will conduct a national serosurvey for SARS-CoV-2 PCR positivity and immune experience. A probability sample of U.S. addresses will be mailed invitations and kits for the self-collection of anterior nares swab and finger prick dried blood spot specimens. Within each sampled household, one adult 18 years or older will be randomly selected and asked to complete a questionnaire and to collect and return biological specimens to a central laboratory. Nasal swab specimens will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RNA PCR; dried blood spot specimens will be tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., immune experience) by enzyme-linked immunoassays. Positive screening tests for antibodies will be confirmed by a second antibody test with different antigenic basis to improve predictive value of positive (PPV) antibody test results. All persons returning specimens in the baseline phase will be enrolled into a follow-up cohort and mailed additional specimen collection kits 3 months after baseline. A subset of 10% of selected households will be invited to participate in full household testing, with tests offered for all household members aged ≥3 years. The main study outcomes will be period prevalence of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and immune experience, and incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and antibody responses. RESULTS: Power calculations indicate that a national sample of 4000 households will facilitate estimation of national SARS-CoV-2 infection and antibody prevalence with acceptably narrow 95% confidence intervals across several possible scenarios of prevalence levels. Oversampling in up to seven populous states will allow for prevalence estimation among subpopulations. Our 2-stage algorithm for antibody testing produces acceptable PPV at prevalence levels ≥1.0%. Including oversamples in states, we expect to receive data from as many as 9156 participants in 7495 U.S. households. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to providing robust estimates of prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and immune experience, we anticipate this study will establish a replicable methodology for home-based SARS-CoV-2 testing surveys, address concerns about selection bias, and improve positive predictive value of serology results. Prevalence estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and immune experience produced by this study will greatly improve our understanding of the spectrum of COVID-19 disease, its current penetration in various demographic, geographic, and occupational groups, and inform the range of symptoms associated with infection. These data will inform resource needs for control of the ongoing epidemic and facilitate data-driven decisions for epidemic mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Trial Protocols as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Neurol Sci ; 415: 116935, 2020 08 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-626763

ABSTRACT

Here, in Part II of a duology on the characterization and potential treatment for COVID-19, we characterize the application of an innovative treatment regimen for the prevention of the transition from mild to severe COVID-19, as well as detail an intensive immunotherapy intervention hypothesis. We propose as a putative randomized controlled trial that high-dose methotrexate with leucovorin (HDMTX-LR) rescue can abolish 'PANIC', thereby 'left-shifting' severe COVID-19 patients to the group majority of those infected with SARS-CoV-2, who are designated as having mild, even asymptomatic, disease. HDMTX-LR is endowed with broadly pleiotropic properties and is a repurposed, generic, inexpensive, and widely available agent which can be administered early in the course of severe COVID-19 thus rescuing the critical and irreplaceable gas-exchange alveoli. Further, we describe a preventative treatment intervention regimen for those designated as having mild to moderate COVID-19 disease, but who exhibit features which herald the transition to the severe variant of this disease. Both of our proposed hypothesis-driven questions should be urgently subjected to rigorous assessment in the context of randomized controlled trials, in order to confirm or refute the contention that the approaches characterized herein, are in fact capable of exerting mitigating, if not abolishing, effects upon SARS-CoV-2 triggered 'PANIC Attack'. Confirmation of our immunotherapy hypothesis would have far-reaching ramifications for the current pandemic, along with yielding invaluable lessons which could be leveraged to more effectively prepare for the next challenge to global health.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Clinical Trial Protocols as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Leucovorin/therapeutic use , Methotrexate/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , COVID-19 , Disease Management , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi ; 45(6): 1232-1241, 2020 Mar.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-53036

ABSTRACT

To analyze the registered clinical trial protocols of traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19), in order to provide information for improving the quality of research design. The website of the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry(www.chictr.org.cn) and the American Clinical Trial Registry(clinicaltrials.gov) were searched to collect protocols of TCM for COVID-19. Documents were screened following the inclusion criteria, and data were extracted in regard to registration date, study objective, type of design, sponsor, patient, sample size, intervention, and evaluation index. Descriptive analysis was conducted. A total of 49 clinical trial protocols of TCM for COVID-19 were included. Primary sponsors were mainly hospitals or universities in places like Hubei, Beijing, Zhejiang and other regions. The implementation units are mainly in Hubei, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Henan and other regional hospitals. The types of study design were mainly experimental studies(40), including 30 randomized parallel controlled trials, 7 non-randomized controlled trials, 2 single arm trials and 1 consecutively recruited trial; besides, there were also 6 observational studies, 2 health service studies and 1 preventive study. The sample size reached a total of 30 562 cases, with a maximum of 20 000 for a single study and a minimum of 30. The 49 trials subjects included healthy people(3), isolation and observation cases(1), suspected cases(10),confirmed COVID-19 patients(31) and COVID-19 recovery patients(4). Of the 31 trials planned to include confirmed COVID-19 patients, 16 protocols no definite disease classification, 3 with a clear exclusion of severe subjects, 4 with common subjects, 2 with light, common or severe subjects, 1 with light and common subjects, 1 with common or severe subjects, 3 with severe subjects, and 1 with severe or critical subjects. The experimental interventions included Chinese patent medicine(Lianhua Qingwen Capsules/Granules, Huoxiang Zhengqi Dropping Pills/Oral Liquid, Babao Dan, Gubiao Jiedu Ling, Jinhao Jiere Granules, Compound Yu-xingcao Mixture, Jinye Baidu Granules, Shufeng Jiedu Capsuless, Shuanghuanglian Oral Liquid, Tanreqing Injection, Xuebijing Injection, Reduning Injection, Xiyanping Injection), Chinese medicinal decoction and taichi. The primary evaluation outcomes mainly included antipyretic time, clinical symptom relief, novel coronavirus nucleic acid turning to negative, conversion rate of severe cases and chest CT. There was a quick response of clinical research on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 with TCM, with the current registered protocols covers the whole process of disease prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. However, issues need to be concerned, including unclear definition of patient's condition, unclear research objectives, unclear intervention process and inappropriate outcomes, etc. In addition, researchers should consider the actual difficulties and workload of doctors in epidemic response environment, and make effort to optimize the process and improve the operability of research protocols under the principle of medical ethics.


Subject(s)
Clinical Trial Protocols as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China , Humans , Medicine, Chinese Traditional , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2
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