Endometrial cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, and the incidence is increasing in developed nations. A recent Cochrane Review demonstrates how treatment decisions for this cancer may lack evidence to support their use. Good-quality clinical trials that address the needs of patients and caregivers are urgently needed. The Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group is involved with the Womb Cancer Alliance, a priority-setting partnership including patients, clinicians, and charity representatives. The goals are to encourage researchers and funders to prioritise endometrial cancer research, to define its research agenda, and to prioritise new Cochrane Reviews.
Healthy kidneys produce the hormone erythropoietin, which stimulates production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Anaemia is a common problem for people with advanced chronic kidney disease, due to reduced endogenous erythropoietin production. A new Cochrane Review examines the evidence for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents for anaemia in adults with chronic kidney disease. This review employs the Bayesian statistical approach of network meta-analysis, which allows for both direct and indirect comparisons of different treatments for the same or similar conditions, even when most trials tested a treatment against placebo and did not compare treatment interventions directly.
'Exacerbation' has for many years been the preferred term for worsening asthma in the peer-reviewed literature and in national and international guidelines. However, there is a recent trend to move away from this somewhat cumbersome word in favour of terms that may be more widely understood and more easily remembered by patients, the public, and professionals alike. Ensuring we have a common language for describing worsening asthma is especially important in a condition for which there is strong evidence that self-management education improves health outcomes.
Since the birth of systematic reviews, technology has been an integral part of efforts to understand health evidence. In recent years a combination of increasing frustration with the limitations of current systematic review technologies, an awareness of the impact technological developments have had in other fields, and promising results of recent innovations have led to an increasing focus on the opportunities afforded by emerging technologies. These will be discussed at the forthcoming second #CochraneTech Symposium.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. The story of the availability of two drugs that can treat this condition, bevacizumab (Avastin) and ranibizumab (Lucentis), is complex and evolving. The story also highlights the crucial role of independent research in producing relevant evidence for decision-makers on the safety and effectiveness of affordable health interventions. A recent Cochrane Review is a good example of a timely and rapidly conducted systematic review to support regulatory bodies efficiently allocate resources for access to cost-effective treatments.