$7 million grant continues Asthma Clinical Research Network efforts

ments in personal diaries, which they share during clinic visits. The clinic personnel enter the patients' information into a password-protected portion of the ACRN Web site, which was developed by the Data Coordinating Center and configured to accept the data and conduct validity checks.

"Our Data Coordinating Center is vital to the success of the ACRN's clinical trials because it has the experience and skills for the successful design, development, implementation and analysis of multiple clinical trials simultaneously," Chinchilli said. "The incidence of asthma continues to increase and many patients are resistant to currently available therapies. Development of new and improved treatments is critical to the control of their disease and their quality of life."

For all of the ACRN's 10 years, the Penn State Hershey team has continued to evaluate and modify the data collection system to improve data quality in a cost-effective and labor-efficient manner. Their pioneering approaches have molded the ACRN into a world leader in asthma clinical research.

In addition to collaborating on more than 25 of the ACRN's scientific publications, the Data Coordinating Center was instrumental in producing a compilation of 11 peer-reviewed articles that appeared in a special supplement to the scientific journal, Controlled Clinical Trials, on ACRN activities related to its organizational structure, clinical trials, data management processes, randomization schemes, quality control methods, and recruitment and retention issues. The methodologies developed by the Data Coordinating Center faculty and staff provide lessons and standards applicable to multicenter clinical trials across disciplines.

In addition, Chinchilli has directed the dissertation research of three Penn State doctoral students whose work has focused on developing new biostatistical methods for the ACRN's innovative clinical trial designs.

"We will continue to innovate and bri

Contact: Valerie Gliem
Penn State

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