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October 11, 2000

Quality of Evidence for Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(14):1785-1786. doi:10.1001/jama.284.14.1783

To the Editor: In his Editorial, Dr Wilt1 described the relative lack of reliable evidence for treatment of prostate cancer, and then suggested the need for well-conducted randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to lessen the uncertainty that surrounds many treatments for prostate cancer. However, it will only be through systematic reviews of all relevant randomized trials that patients and health care professionals will be provided with a reliable summary of the evidence.2 Without such reviews, there is a danger that those involved in the treatment of prostate cancer will simply switch from selective citing of opinion to selective citing of randomized trials. Systematic reviews, such as those from the Cochrane Collaboration, should underpin the design of every randomized trial and are vital to the interpretation of the results of every trial. Unfortunately, this seems to be the exception and it needs to become the rule.3

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