Matt Sydes, Professor of Clinical Trials & Methodology

Matt is responsible for co-leading the unit's trial conduct methodology work to develop evidence-based ways that improve how clinical trials are run. He has been designing, conducting, analyzing, reporting & disseminating clinical trials, and seeking to improve them, for more than 25 years as a trial manager and then statistician.

Particular areas of interest include: Unleashing potential of healthcare systems data (electronic health records, routinely-collected healthcare data) to support trials; Designing academic trials for regulator use & submission; Efficient & proportionate monitoring; Implementing novel designs, including multi-arm multi-stage platform trials; Function & conduct of trial oversight committees; Appropriate data sharing of clinical trial data; Dissemination of trial results.

Matt served >15 years as a trial statistician and project lead on the STAMPEDE trial (SCT’s Trial of the Year 2018), a multi-arm multi-stage platform protocol that repeatedly delivered internationally practice-changing results. He has delivered trials that involved international collaboration in rare & common diseases.

Matt teaches at the UCL Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology's MSc in Clinical Trials and supervises a number of student projects. He also supervises a number of PhD students. Matt leads UCL's short course on Independent Data Monitoring Committees (IDMCs) (link) and teaches UCL’s short courses on implementing platform protocols, both statistical design (link) and the new conduct course (link). He has taught for many years on the EORTC Statistics for Non-Statisticians course and on the EORTC-ESMO-AACR Methods for Cancer Clinical Research (MCCR) residential course.

He is a member of the Executive Committee for the MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership (TMRP). He co-leads the Transforming Data for Trials work for Health Data Research UK (HDRUK). He has sat on funding committees for trials & methodology (eg Cancer Research UK, INSERM MESSIDORE, MRC Better Methods Better Research Panel), and peer-reviewed for many other funders internationally. He has served on many trial prioritization panels for NIHR in the UK and NIHR in the USA. He is an advisor for the Anti-Cancer Fund. He has served on national and university Research Ethics Committees in the UK. He is a Senior Editor for the journal Trials and an Associate Editor for Clinical Trials, and has peer‑reviewed >300 papers for medical & methodology journals. He chaired the Scientific Committee for the biennial International Clinical Trials & Methodology Conference in 2019 and 2022 & served on Scientific Committee for SCT’s Annual Meeting. He chaired CTU’s Protocol Review Committee for 20 years. He has served on many IDMCs and Trial Steering Committees (TSCs) for over 50 national and international trials.

Matt is 20% seconded to lead the Data-Enabled Trials theme for the BHF Data Science Centre, led by Health Data Research UK.

More links for Matt’s work, including recent talks, are

QR code to Matt Sydes Linktree

Selected publications

Love SB et al. Monitoring in practice - How are UK academic clinical trials monitored? A survey. Trials. 2020;21(1):59 >>> [Senior author]

Lensen S et al. Access to routinely collected health data for clinical trials - review of successful data requests to UK registries. Trials. 2020;21(1):398 >>> [Senior author]

Lane JA et al. A third trial oversight committee: Functions, benefits and issues. Clin Trials. 2020;17(1):106-12 >>> [Senior author]

Choodari-Oskooei B et al. Adding new experimental arms to randomised clinical trials: Impact on error rates. Clin Trials. 2020;17(3):273-84

Schiavone F et al. This is a platform alteration: a trial management perspective on the operational aspects of adaptive and platform and umbrella protocols. Trials. 2019;20(1):264 >>> [Senior author]

Morris TP et al. Proposals on Kaplan-Meier plots in medical research and a survey of stakeholder views: KMunicate. BMJ Open. 2019;9(9):e030215 >>> [Senior author]

Morrell L et al. Mind the gap? The platform trial as a working environment. Trials. 2019;20(1):297

Hague D et al. Changing platforms without stopping the train: experiences of data management and data management systems when adapting platform protocols by adding and closing comparisons. Trials. 2019;20(1):294 >>> [Senior author]

Embleton-Thirsk A et al. Impact of retrospective data verification to prepare the ICON6 trial for use in a marketing authorization application. Clin Trials. 2019;16(5):502-11

Diaz-Montana C et al. Implementing monitoring triggers and matching of triggered and control sites in the TEMPER study: a description and evaluation of a triggered monitoring management system. Trials. 2019;20(1):227

Sydes MR et al. Adding abiraterone or docetaxel to long-term hormone therapy for prostate cancer: directly randomised data from the STAMPEDE multi-arm, multi-stage platform protocol. Ann Oncol. 2018;29(5):1235-48 >>> [1st author; Trial_statistician]

Stenning SP et al. Triggered or routine site monitoring visits for randomised controlled trials: results of TEMPER, a prospective, matched-pair study. Clin Trials. 2018;15(6):600-9 >>>
Parker CC et al. Radiotherapy to the primary tumour for newly diagnosed, metastatic prostate cancer (STAMPEDE): a randomised controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2018;392(10162):2353-66 >>> [Senior author; Corresponding_author]

James ND et al. Abiraterone for Prostate Cancer Not Previously Treated with Hormone Therapy. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(4):338-51 >>> [Senior author; Trial_statistician]

Marina NM et al. Comparison of MAPIE versus MAP in patients with a poor response to preoperative chemotherapy for newly diagnosed high-grade osteosarcoma (EURAMOS-1): an open-label, international, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17(10):1396-408 >>> [Senior author (joint); Trial_statistician; Corresponding author]

James ND et al. Addition of docetaxel, zoledronic acid, or both to first-line long-term hormone therapy in prostate cancer (STAMPEDE): survival results from an adaptive, multiarm, multistage, platform randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2016;387(10024):1163-77 >>> [2nd author; Trial_statistician; Corresponding author]

Sydes MR et al. Sharing data from clinical trials: the rationale for a controlled access approach. Trials. 2015;16(1):104 >>> [1st author; Corresponding author]

Dearnaley DP et al. Escalated-dose versus control-dose conformal radiotherapy for prostate cancer: long-term results from the MRC RT01 randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2014;15(4):464-73 >>> [Senior author; Trial_statistician; ; Corresponding author]

Sydes MR et al. Flexible trial design in practice - stopping arms for lack-of-benefit and adding research arms mid-trial in STAMPEDE: a multi-arm multi-stage randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2012;13(1):168 >>> [1st author; Corresponding_author]

DAMOCLES study group et al. A proposed charter for clinical trial data monitoring committees: helping them to do their job well. The Lancet. 2005;365(9460):711-22 >>> [Group author]

Research Interests

  • Late phase randomised controlled trials
  • Improved conduct of clinical trials
  • Electronic health records
  • Academic trials for regulatory use
  • Applications of novel trial methods
  • Dissemination and use of trial data
  • Trial oversight committees
  • International collaboration

Research Areas

Related Studies

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