Help in the design and reporting of randomized controlled trials: a collaboration between ESOT and CET towards a knowledge centre for European transplantations


The Centre for Evidence in Transplantation (CET) was established by Professor Sir Peter Morris in 2005 as a joint activity between The Royal College of Surgeons of England and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the University of London. It is embedded within the Clinical Effectiveness Unit of the College, which again is part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This provides a solid nucleus of medical statisticians, epidemiologists, health economists and systematic reviewers, providing an excellent body of expertise for the CET to call upon when necessary.

The role of the CET is directed at evaluating the quality of evidence in organ transplantation and indicating gaps in knowledge that need to be bridged. Thus, the research associates and the research fellows are engaged in systematic reviews of topics that are controversial or identifying areas where inadequate information is available. In addition, the CET has been publishing a registry of randomized controlled trials in organ transplantation since the beginning of 2004 in the journal Transplantation. The registry also includes as assessment of the quality of the methodology of these randomized trials. This has proved to be somewhat disappointing in that only approximately 1/3 of all randomized trials reported from 2004 to 2006 were methodologically sound. Thus there is a major need to improve the quality of randomized controlled trials in organ transplantation.

With this in mind, the Council of the ESOT has agreed to develop a collaboration with CET which would be available to help with the design of randomized controlled trials in Europe and would be able to evaluate protocols which, when approved, would be officially registered and accredited jointly by CET and ESOT. The CET would also help, if required, in the reporting of trials, for again there are many methodological defects in the reporting of trials in organ transplantation in the existing literature.

In this respect CET will contribute substantially to the goal of ESOT to build a scientific and clinically relevant knowledge centre on transplantation.

For further information, in particular to gain access to guidelines for the design of randomized controlled trials, this can be found on the homepage of the ESOT website, marked as CET and under the Science projects menu.

Additional information about the CET itself can also be obtained from the CET website