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It is now 75 years since the publication of Sir Austin Bradford Hill's classic textbook on Medical Statistics, and half a century since the formation of the Medical Research Council Working Party on Leukaemia. In the intervening period, trials in haematological malignancies have been at the forefront of cancer research, both in the proportion of patients recruited, and in the adoption of novel trial designs. In this paper, the principles propounded by Hill for reliable evaluation of new treatments are considered and placed in the context of the development and evaluation of novel treatments in the 21st century. Many of the original principles espoused are still highly relevant today, while the emerging heterogeneity of the conditions, both in aetiology and outcome provide their own newer challenges, which are discussed here.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





691 - 699


Confidence Intervals, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Hematologic Diseases, History, 19th Century, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Humans, Leukemia, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Research Design, Sample Size