Wed Nov 22, 2017 SIB/CIG Sem. S. Senn

Dear all,

on Wednesday 22 November 2017 at 15:30, the SIB and the CIG will host
statistician Stephen Senn (Head of Competence Center for Methodology and
Statistics (CCMS), Luxembourg Institute of Health) who will talk about:

  Is Precision Medicine Terminally Ill?

The presentation will take place in Auditoire A of the Génopode
Building, on the Dorigny campus of the University of Lausanne.

If anyone would like to talk with Stephen either before or after the
talk, let me know.


For at least twenty years we have been promised that a revolution in
medical care, based mainly on genomics, but also on various other
'omics', is imminent. Precise diagnosis will be matched by tailor-made
medicine and put an end to mass solutions doled out to crudely assembled
disease groups. In those 20 years, the relevant vocabulary has been
reinvented several times moving from personalized, to precision to
high-definition medicine. However, despite some notable successes the
theranostic revolution has not taken place and the reality continues to
fall far short of the promise.

I shall argue that one reason is that clinical trials are regularly
misunderstood and all too frequently badly analysed. In particular, an
obsession with numbers needed to treat based on arbitrary dichotomies
has exaggerated the extent to which patients differ in response and
hence the scope for personalising therapies. I shall suggest that
smarter design and analysis of trial is needed and that it is quite
probable that the scope for personalised medicine is less than commonly
supposed. The main task for drug development will remain finding
treatments that are good on average.

Please forward this announcement to anyone who could be interested !

Hope to see you there,