A couple of updates

Finally some exciting updates! I really need some good news after all that happened this year. So, first of all I have recentely found out that one of the paper I co-authored got published early this year but I actually forgot to check it. The work is an interesting long-term CEA for a new drug in prostate cancer patients, extrapolating the data from an RCT named STAMPEDE. I was only partially involved with this work, which has been mostly done by the talented and always cheerful Caroline Clarke with whom I collaborated during my post-doc experience at UCL. My contribution mostly resolved about double checking the R code for the model which, I have to say, was pretty sophisticated and not always clear given that was originally done by someone else (I we know how understanding someone else’s code can be an hard task). Overall, I am really happy for this paper which I hope may be of interest to someone specialised in that type of analysis and population.

Next, I am also proud of having contributed to the third round for the course “Understanding Health Economics in Clinical Trials”, which I delivered together with my ex-colleagues and co-members of the HEART team from UCL. This is the third time we have delivered the course in the past two years and I was really impressed by how far we have come since our first attempt. The structure of the course is now very nice and most of the people attending out last edition (in online format of course, thanks 2020!) provided very nice feedback. This, I believe, was the last time we offered the course for free and from the next time we will start charging a small fee to the participants. We have some minor adjustments to make in a couple of sessions, but overall I feel pretty good about it. I would like to thank all my HEART buddies, with a special mention to Ekaterina Bordea, with whom I share the delivery of the final session of the course. Although we were a bit strict on time, and I ended up taking most of it (sorry Ekaterina!), we both got very positive comments from the attendants. I hope I will still be involved with these guys for the future editions of the course as it was really fun.

Aslo, a quick update about my acadmic work. I have written an abstract for a paper together with some very nice people involved in missing data analysis in CEA, including the amazing Baptiste Leurent and Catrin Plumpton. We submitted the abstract to HESG 2021 which has been accepted as a presentation. We still need to write up the actual paper which we need to submit by the end of this month but I am confident we will make it. This work is again about missing data in CEA but based on a different perspective compared with the standard imputation approach and instead explores the use of mixed models as a possible alternative under some assumptions. I really enjoyed working on this, especially with Baptiste with whom I started working on this quite a few months ago. I am not sure I will be able to be present at HESG as I have some heavy teaching duties in Maastircht in that period but I look forward receiving some feedback for our idea.

I have also found some time to upload on ArXiv a drafted version for a paper I strated working on about one year ago at UCL. The work is a sort of experiment for me where I tried to apply some Bayesian methods for jointly modelling patient-level partitioned survival cost-utility data. The idea is pretty nice, I think, but I will probably need to polish off a few things before finalising the paper. I was also excited to implement something in STAN which I have started using more frequently in the last months. Although in my experience other Bayesian software seem to be pretty good for different analyses, I think STAN has a great potential in the future, especially thanks to all the support and community posting online solutions and code for different types of problems and analyses.

Finally, I have been involved in some stats teaching for a master course in epidemiology at my affiliated faculty FHML at UM. Everyting was done online, but overall I was happy about how I delivered my sessions of the course and with the feedback I received from the sudents. This was my first teaching experience at UM and, considering the special circumstances most of us are in this year, I think I managed pretty good. Next month I will involved in the marking of the exams for this course while from Jan 2021 I will be quite busy with lots of courses and a quite frightening time schedule. Good luck to me!

So, lots of news but this is also becuase I did not find much time in the past weeks to update my blog. I hope to be more consistent in the future but you never know, especially this year. One thing I am looking for is to explore and visit Maastricht for which I haven’t had a chance since I started my contract last September. Everyone says that the Christmas market is particularly beautiful but this year there won’t be one because of … well 2020!