The Biostatistics Shared Resource (BSR) of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center (MCC) plays a vital role in supporting research at the MCC. Faculty members in the BSR are essential collaborators with members of each of the research programs. The mission of the BSR is to promote excellence in cancer research at the MCC by supporting a biostatistics faculty dedicated to cancer research that provides outstanding biostatistical support and collaboration to MCC members. The defining attribute of the BSR has been to provide biostatistical support to the MCC researchers from the experimental design stage and to continue the support and guidance for sample size requirements and power calculations, study plan development, analysis of the requirement of the statistical design, development of randomization and stratification procedures, interim analyses, analysis of completed results, presentation of research findings, and, ultimately, in the submission of scientific publications. Biostatisticians also participate in the oversight of MCC clinical trials and research protocols through the Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC) and additionally support the Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB). The emphasis on the collaborative nature of the work of this shared resource has been a major factor in optimizing the effectiveness of the BSR and it has resulted in gaining support for peer-reviewed grants. In addition to collaboration at all levels in research projects and grant applications, faculty members of the BSR also contribute to the MCC through methodological research that applies directly to programmatic research at the MCC;and in training investigators through seminars and individual sessions, and postdoctoral scientists and clinical fellows through the Clinical Research and Biostatistics graduate degree concentration. Support from the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) is critical to continued provision of high quality statistical input at the earliest phases of the research projects proposed and conducted at the MCC.
Statistical support provided through the Biostatistics Shared Resource is critical at all stages of basic, translational, and clinical cancer studies. High quality biostatistics support ensures that studies are designed in such a manner that they can answer the question being proposed, and it ensures that the conclusions of studies are supported by the data.
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