Statistics in Oncology Series
- Hazard ratios (HRs) are used commonly to report results from randomized clinical trials in oncology. However, they remain one of the most perplexing concepts for clinicians. A good understanding of HRs is needed to effectively interpret the medical literature to make important treatment decisions. This article provides clear guidelines to clinicians about how to appropriately interpret HRs. While this article focuses on the commonly used methods, the authors acknowledge that other statistical methods exist for analyzing survival data.
- Large randomized phase III prospective studies continue to redefine the standard of therapy in medical practice. Often when studies do not meet the primary endpoint, it is common to explore possible benefits in specific subgroups of patients. In addition, these analyses may also be done, even in the case of a positive trial to find subsets of patients where the therapy is especially effective or ineffective. These unplanned subgroup analyses are justified to maximize the information that can be obtained from a study and to generate new hypotheses.