The major purpose of this conference is to provide those involved in the
analysis and interpretation of cancer data with the knowledge and tools
to think in terms of the proportion of patients with cancer who will not
succumb to their disease. This is a major departure from the
conventional ways of looking at such data that focus on the length of
time until the patient's death. These methods seek to estimate the
proportion still surviving as a function of time, compare treatment
regimens with respect to survival time, and study the effects of various
demographic factors and disease characteristics on the distribution of
survival time. However, a strong argument can be made for the
preposition that the most important questions concerning survival of
cancer and its treatment are not whether a given treatment increases
median survival time from x months to x+delta months, but whether that
treatment impacts favorably on the probability that a patient will be
cured of his/her disease and thus not die from it at all. The attendees
of this conference will have the opportunity to hear presentations by
some of the leading experts in this area. They will take from this
experience a newly found appreciation of the advantages of looking at
cancer survival data in terms of the cure rate and the knowledge to do
so. It is expected that will, in turn, result in more informative
analyses of cancer research data.
Another important purpose of this conference is to provide scientists
who are leaders in this field with the opportunity to meet with others
having similar interests and to exchange ideas and approaches to the
problem of cure rate estimation. It is expected that the contacts that
time place during this conference will have a lasting and positive
influence on the work in this field.
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