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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Trials 1/2018

The Comparative Effectiveness of Innovative Treatments for Cancer (CEIT-Cancer) project: Rationale and design of the database and the collection of evidence available at approval of novel drugs

Trials > Ausgabe 1/2018
Aviv Ladanie, Benjamin Speich, Florian Naudet, Arnav Agarwal, Tiago V. Pereira, Francesco Sclafani, Juan Martin-Liberal, Thomas Schmid, Hannah Ewald, John P. A. Ioannidis, Heiner C. Bucher, Benjamin Kasenda, Lars G. Hemkens
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13063-018-2877-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The available evidence on the benefits and harms of novel drugs and therapeutic biologics at the time of approval is reported in publicly available documents provided by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We aimed to create a comprehensive database providing the relevant information required to systematically analyze and assess this early evidence in meta-epidemiological research.


We designed a modular and flexible database of systematically collected data. We identified all novel cancer drugs and therapeutic biologics approved by the FDA between 2000 and 2016, recorded regulatory characteristics, acquired the corresponding FDA approval documents, identified all clinical trials reported therein, and extracted trial design characteristics and treatment effects. Herein, we describe the rationale and design of the data collection process, particularly the organization of the data capture, the identification and eligibility assessment of clinical trials, and the data extraction activities.


We established a comprehensive database on the comparative effects of drugs and therapeutic biologics approved by the FDA over a time period of 17 years for the treatment of cancer (solid tumors and hematological malignancies). The database provides information on the clinical trial evidence available at the time of approval of novel cancer treatments. The modular nature and structure of the database and the data collection processes allow updates, expansions, and adaption for a continuous meta-epidemiological analysis of novel drugs.
The database allows us to systematically evaluate benefits and harms of novel drugs and therapeutic biologics. It provides a useful basis for meta-epidemiological research on the comparative effects of innovative cancer treatments and continuous evaluations of regulatory developments.
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