Prioritization in comparative effectiveness research: The CANCERGEN experience

Rahber Thariani, William Wong, Josh J. Carlson, Louis Garrison, Scott Ramsey, Patricia A. Deverka, Laura Esmail, Sneha Rangarao, Carolyn J. Hoban, Laurence H. Baker, David L. Veenstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Systematic approaches to stakeholder-informed research prioritization are a central focus of comparative effectiveness research. Genomic testing in cancer is an ideal area to refine such approaches given rapid innovation and potentially significant impacts on patient outcomes. Objective: To develop and pilot test a stakeholder-informed approach to prioritizing genomic tests for future study in collaboration with the cancer clinical trials consortium SWOG. Methods: We conducted a landscape analysis to identify genomic tests in oncology using a systematic search of published and unpublished studies, and expert consultation. Clinically valid tests suitable for evaluation in a comparative study were presented to an external stakeholder group. Domains to guide the prioritization process were identified with stakeholder input, and stakeholders ranked tests using multiple voting rounds. Results: A stakeholder group was created including representatives from patient-advocacy groups, payers, test developers, regulators, policy makers, and community-based oncologists. We identified 9 domains for research prioritization with stakeholder feedback: population impact; current standard of care, strength of association; potential clinical benefits, potential clinical harms, economic impacts, evidence of need, trial feasibility, and market factors. The landscape analysis identified 635 studies; of 9 tests deemed to have sufficient clinical validity, 6 were presented to stakeholders. Two tests in lung cancer (ERCC1 and EGFR) and 1 test in breast cancer (CEA/CA15-3/CA27.29) were identified as top research priorities. Conclusions: Use of a diverse stakeholder group to inform research prioritization is feasible in a pragmatic and timely manner. Additional research is needed to optimize search strategies, stakeholder group composition, and integration with existing prioritization mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-393
Number of pages6
JournalMedical care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • comparative effectiveness research
  • genomics
  • landscape analysis
  • research prioritization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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