UCL Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology


Developing efficient new trial designs

The MRC CTU at UCL is at the forefront of developing new, more efficient trial designs. One of these innovations is the multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS) design. This allows several new treatments to be compared against a single control arm, and seamless progression from Phase II to Phase III trials. Arms can be dropped early, due to insufficient activity, or added as new treatments become available for testing. The STAMPEDE prostate cancer trial uses the MAMS design. It started with six arms, but has since dropped two, and added a further three. STAMPEDE will evaluate eight treatments in 15 years, which would, in separate two-arm trials, have taken more than 40 years.