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Peter F. Thall

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Division of Quantitative Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Peter F. Thall has pioneered the use of Bayesian methods in medical research. He has published over 160 research papers and book chapters in the statistical and medical literature, including numerous papers providing innovative methods for the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials. Over the course of his career, he has designed over 300 clinical trials. He has presented 20 short courses and over 130 invited talks, and regularly provides statistical consultation for corporations in the pharmaceutical industry.  He has served as an associate editor for the journals Statistics in Medicine, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and Biometrics, currently is an associate editor for the journals Clinical Trials and Statistics in Biosciences, and is an American Statistical Association Media Expert.  In 2004, Dr. Thall was awarded the Anise J. Sorrell Professorship at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Additional information regarding Dr. Thall's educational and professional activites can be found on this link (

Research Interests

Clinical trial design

Adaptive decision making in clinical trials

Bayesian statistics

Dynamic treatment regimes

Geometric methods for constructing decision criteria

Computer-intensive methods in statistics

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1975 Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, PHD, Statistics & Probability
1973 Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, MS, Statistics
1971 Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, BS, Mathematics

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Houede N, Thall PF, Nguyen H, Paoletti X, Kramar A. Utility-based optimization of combination therapy using ordinal toxicity and efficacy in phase I/II trials. Biometrics 66(2):532-40, 6/2010. e-Pub 8/10/2009. PMCID: PMC2893272.
2. Morita S, Thall PF, Bekele BN, Mathew P. A Bayesian hierarchical mixture model for platelet derived growth factor receptor phosphorylation to improve estimation of progression-free survival in prostate cancer. J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat 59(1):19-34, 9/3/2009. PMCID: PMC2853262.
3. Thall PF, Nguyen HQ, Estey EH. Patient-specific dose finding based on bivariate outcomes and covariates. Biometrics 64(4):1126-36, 12/2008. e-Pub 3/19/2008. PMID: 18355387.
4. Wathen JK, Thall PF. Bayesian adaptive model selection for optimizing group sequential clinical trials. Stat Med 27(27):5586-604, 11/29/2008. PMID: 18752257.
5. Wathen JK, Thall PF, Cook JD, Estey EH. Accounting for patient heterogeneity in phase II clinical trials. Stat Med 27(15):2802-15, 7/10/2008. e-Pub 10/2007. PMID: 17948869.
6. Morita S, Thall PF, Müller P. Determining the effective sample size of a parametric prior. Biometrics 64(2):595-602, 2008. PMID: 17764481.
7. Thall PF, Wooten LH, Logothetis CJ, Millikan RE, Tannir NM. Bayesian and frequentist two-stage treatment strategies based on sequential failure times subject to interval censoring. Stat Med 26(26):4687-4702, 2007. PMID: 17427204.
8. Braun TM, Thall PF, Nguyen H, de Lima M. Simultaneously optimizing dose and schedule of a new cytotoxic agent. Clin Trials 4(2):113-124, 2007. PMID: 17456511.
9. Thall PF, Wooten LH, Shpall EJ. A geometric approach to comparing treatments for rapidly fatal diseases. Biometrics 62(1):193-201, 3/2006. PMID: 16542246.
10. Thall PF, Wathen JK. Covariate-adjusted adaptive randomization in a sarcoma trial with multi-stage treatments. Stat Med 24(13):1947-1964, 2005. PMID: 15806621.
11. Thall PF, Wooten LH, Tannir NM. Monitoring event times in early phase clinical trials: some practical issues. Clin Trials 2(6):467-78, 2005. PMID: 16422307.
12. Thall PF, Millikan RE, Mueller P, Lee SJ. Dose-finding with two agents in Phase I oncology trials. Biometrics 59:487-96, 9/2003. PMID: 14601749.
13. Thall PF, Sung H-G, Estey EH. Selecting therapeutic strategies based on efficacy and death in multi-course clinical trials. J American Statistical Assoc 97:29-39, 9/2002.
14. Shen Y, Thall PF. Parametric likelihoods for multiple non-fatal competing risks and death. Stat Med 17:999-1015, 5/1998. PMID: 9612887.
15. Thall PF, Simon RM, Estey EH. Bayesian sequential monitoring designs for single-arm clinical trials with multiple outcomes. Stat Med 14(4):357-379, 1995. PMID: 7746977.
16. Thall PF. Mixed Poisson likelihood regression models for longitudinal interval count data. Biometrics 44:197-209, 3/1988. PMID: 3358988.
17. Thall PF, Lachin JM. Analysis of recurrent events: nonparametric methods for random interval count data. J American Statistical Assoc 83:339-347, 1988.

Invited Articles

1. Thall PF. Bayesian models and decision algorithms for complex early phase clinical trials. Stat Sci 25(2):227-44, 5/2010. PMCID: PMC3035990.
2. Thall PF. A review of phase 2-3 clinical trial designs. Lifetime Data Anal 14(1):37-53, 3/2008. e-Pub 9/2/2007. PMID: 17763973.
3. Thall PF. Some geometric methods for constructing decision criteria based on two-dimensional parameters. J Stat Plan Inference 138(2):516-527, 2008. PMCID: PMC2906756.
4. Thall PF, Wathen JK. Practical Bayesian adaptive randomisation in clinical trials. Eur J Cancer 43(5):859-66, 3/2007. e-Pub 2/16/2007. PMCID: PMC2030491.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Cancer Center Support Grant - Biostatistics Shared Resource (PPSR-21)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Statistician
Principal Investigator: Ronald DePinho
Duration: 7/1/2013 - 6/30/2018
Title: MD Anderson Cancer Center Prostate SPORE (PC-B)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Investigator
Principal Investigator: Christopher J. Logothetis
Duration: 9/2/2009 - 8/31/2014
Title: Statistical Methods for Complex Cancer Trials
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 5/7/2009 - 6/30/2013
Title: A Novel Autotransplant Protocol for CML
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Marcos De Lima
Duration: 6/8/2004 - 5/31/2007
Title: Rebuilding Immunity for Survival - Biostatistics Core (PC-D)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Biostatistics Core Leader
Principal Investigator: Lee Nadler
Duration: 9/30/2003 - 11/30/2009
Title: Therapy of CML (PP-2)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Richard Champlin
Duration: 2/12/1997 - 2/28/2009

Last updated: 7/11/2013