Charles KnowlesIf you have ever wondered whether there is a better, faster and cheaper way to generate surgical evidence, the Trials Methodology Symposium at ESCP 2018 in Nice is just for you!

Chaired by Professor Charles Knowles, who is a member of ESCP’s Research Committee, this session offers three speakers who will address various topics in surgical study design while contributing to the overall burning question of how we can generate surgical evidence more quickly and cost-effectively.

Charles Knowles is Professor of Surgery at Queen Mary University of London and Consultant Colorectal surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust. He qualified at the University of Cambridge and undertook surgical training and a PhD in London before being awarded a HEFCE clinical senior lectureship in 2006.

Professor Knowles is also Deputy Director of the Blizard Institute within Barts School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Honorary Professor of Experimental Therapeutics at UCL. He has authored over 180 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has a particular interest in the development of new trial methodology for evaluation of complex interventions (including surgery). He is currently helping to lead the UK development of efficient trial designs and 'enhanced' cohort study methodology as an alternative to randomised controlled trials (RCTs) - both with reference to surgery.

Under the facilitation of Professors Knowles, attendees to this session will hear from:

  • Dr Peer Willie-Jorgensen from Denmark will address alternatives to RCTs, and how a well-designed approach to these (e.g. a prospective cohort study) might better answer certain questions which are not suited to an experimental design.
  • Dr Claire Relton of Blizard Institue will speak about trials within cohort studies (TwiCs) and how those with large enough data sets represent a major opportunity to deliver an RCT more cost-effectively. She will also discuss TwiCs’ relation to surgical registries.
  • Mr Thomas Pinkney from the University of Birmingham and chair of the ESCP Cohort Studies Committee will speak about methodology within RCTs that can improve statistical efficiency (defined by methodologists as reducing the sample size to answer the same research question).

With allocated time for exploring the all-important question of how we can streamline and improve surgical study design, this session will be especially topical for any professionals involved in RCTs in surgery, who other researchers who are currently facing the common issues and time-constraints faced by many in recruiting.

The Trials Methodology Symposium will take place on Friday 28 September: 10:10-11:30. Make sure to book your place early by downloading the ESCP app and following the in-app instructions to secure your place and plan your itinerary.

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