Prostate cancer partnership honored for statistical excellence in accelerating therapeutic advances

The Intermediate Clinical Endpoints of Cancer of the Prostate (ICECaP) working group, led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Christopher Sweeney, MBBS, Wanling Xie, MS, and Meredith Regan, ScD, is being 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 sound and solid foundation for speeding therapies for men with prostate cancer, and partnering globally with academia, industry, and government.” It comprises more than 50 investigators including statisticians, medical oncologists, urologists, radiation oncologists, and health economists from several global institutions, industry, and government. Sweeney, of Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, is ICECaP’s chair.

At its outset, ICECaP’s goal was to assemble data from all available clinical trials for early-stage prostate cancer to determine if an intermediate clinical endpoint – an early measure of therapeutic efficacy – could provide an early read-out of a therapy’s ability to reduce mortality from prostate cancer. Over the years, the partnership has been extended to identify intermediate endpoints in men with advanced prostate cancer and has also been examining the health economic implications of accelerating therapeutic advances and possibilities to increase harmonization of clinical investigations in prostate cancer.

“This initiative was successful because of the collaboration among a core group of statisticians, enhanced by statisticians from clinical trial cooperative groups. Their expertise maximized knowledge gained from the more than 40,000 individual patients’ data shared by the ICECaP working group members,” 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 serve as external statistical advisors. Also named in the award are Laurence Collette, PhD, MSc, of IDDI; Catherine Tangen, PhD, of 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 focused much of their careers on clinical trials and prostate cancer research. I’m so appreciative of this honor from the ASA in recognizing our collaboration and highlighting the integral role of statisticians to improve the care of men diagnosed with prostate cancer,” said Regan.

The SPAIG Award was established in 2002 to honor outstanding statistical partnerships across academe, industry, and government organizations, as well as to promote new partnerships among these organizations. This award is being presented at the ASA Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM) on August 10, 2021.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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