Raising the bar for outcomes In addition to a broadened focus on physical health, outcomes other than symptomatic improvement have become standard in the field including more systematic and operationalized buy GW788388 approaches to measuring response, remission and recovery,37-40 subjective well-being and quality of life,41,42 cognition43-45 and psychosocial/vocational performance.46-48 These have become end points of increasing importance in routine practice and in clinical trials. However, focusing on such outcomes also requires specific considerations, including
treatment modalities, trial duration, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical assessments, end points, etc. Targeting individualized Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical treatment In addition to raising the bar for outcomes, the ways to measure and predict them have also become topics of increasing interest. Efforts at increasing the predictability of outcomes for individual patients (ie, personalized medicine) have included clinically driven nosological and
phenomenological approaches, but, so far, these have not really succeeded.49 Current approaches that do not yet have consistent clinical applicability Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical include the use of genetics, neuroimaging, neurocognition, and blood- or tissue-based biomarkers and sets of biomarkers, also called biosignatures.50 Similarly, developments are underway to define biomarkers as surrogate end points in drug development.51 To achieve personalized psychiatric
treatments, specific design considerations are needed. These include Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical ways of decreasing the heterogeneity- of the study population and the parsing of clinical and biological variables that are relevant for specific mechanisms and treatment effects. In addition, relevant treatment mediators and moderators Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical can serve as selection criteria and randomization or stratification variables. However, obviously, these approaches will depend on the identification of markers that predict treatment outcome to specific interventions and that are not “just” markers of general illness severity and responsiveness below (although even such general markers could, for example, help to facilitate early identification of patients who should have a trial of clozapine).52,53 One such potentially useful “biomarker” or endophenotype that we will discuss subsequently is the presence or absence of early minimal clinical response, which might be useful to enrich samples for specific studies. Commercialization and globalization of clinical trials Another historical element in any discussion of RCTs is the “commercialization” and “globalization” of research. In the early days of clinical trials in psychopharmacology, there were a relatively small number of largely academic sites which participated in the design and conduct of such investigations.