Max Parmar, Director, Professor of Medical Statistics & Epidemiology

Mahesh (Max) Parmar is a Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology and Director of both the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL and the Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology at University College London.

He was for over 10 years an Associate Director of the National Cancer Research Network since its inception in 2001, an organisation which more than doubled the number of patients going into cancer studies in England.

Max joined the MRC in 1987. He has more than 400 publications in peer-reviewed journals, many of which have had a direct impact on policy, clinical practice, and improving outcomes for patients. The MRC Clinical Trials Unit he directs is at the forefront of resolving internationally important questions, particularly in infectious diseases and cancer, and also aims to deliver swifter and more effective translation of scientific research into patient benefits.

It does this by carrying out challenging and innovative studies and by developing and implementing methodological advances in study design, conduct, and analysis.

In 2019, Professor Parmar was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Selected publications

Quartagno M, Morris T, Gilbert D, Langley R, Nankivell M, Parmar M, White I A comparison of different population-level summary measures for randomised trials with time-to-event outcomes, with a focus on non-inferiority trials Clinical Trials 23 Aug 2023 

Foltynie T, Gandhi S, Gonzalez-Robles C, Zeissler M-L, Mills G, Barker R, Carpenter J, Schrag A, Schapira A, Bandmann O, Mullin S, Duffen J, McFarthing K, Chataway J, Parmar M, Carroll C, EJS ACT-PD Consortium  Towards a multi-arm multi-stage platform trial of disease modifying approaches in Parkinson's disease  Brain awad063,

Attard G, Murphy L, Clarke NW, Cross W, Jones RJ, Parmar CC, Gillessen S, Cook A, Brawley C, Amos CL, Atako N, Pugh C, Buckner M, Chowdhury S, Malik Z, Russell MJ, Gilson C, Rush H, Bowen J, Lydon A, Pedley I, O’Sullivan MJ, Birtle A, Gale J, Srihari N, Thomas C, Tanguay J, Wagstaff J, Das P, Gray E, Alzoueb M, Parikh O, Robinson A, Syndikus I, Wylie J, Zarkar A, Thalmann G, S de Bono J, Dearnaley DP, Gilbert D, Mason MD, Langley RE, Millman R, Matheson D, Sydes MR, Brown LC, Parmar MKB, James ND on behalf of the Systemic Therapy in Advancing or Metastatic Prostate cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy (STAMPEDE) investigators Abiraterone acetate and prednisolone with or without enzalutamide for high-risk non-metastatic prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of primary results from two randomised controlled phase 3 trials of the STAMPEDE platform protocol The Lancet 399(10323):447-460 29 Jan 2022

Ghorani E, Quartagno M, Blackhall F, Gilbert D, O'Brien M, Ottensmeier C, Pizzo E, Spicer J, Williams A, Badman P, Parmar M, Seckl M. REFINE-Lung implements a novel trial design to address possible immunotherapy overtreatment. The Lancet Oncology 01 Mar 2023. DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(23)00095-5

Mehta AR, Chataway J, Pal S, Parmar MKB, Chandran S Trials for neurodegenerative diseases: time to innovate The Lancet Neurology 20(12):984 1 Dec 2021 

Menon U, Gentry-Maharaj A, Burnell M, Singh N, Ryan A, Karpinskyj C, Carlino G, Taylor J, Massingham SK, Raikou M, Kalsi JK, Woolas R, Manchanda R, Arora R, Casey L, Dawnay A, Dobbs S, Leeson S, Mould T, Seif MW, Sharma A, Williamson K, Liu Y, Fallowfield L, McGuire AJ, Campbell S, Skates SJ, Jacobs IJ, Parmar M. Ovarian cancer population screening and mortality after long-term follow-up in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS): a randomised controlled trial The Lancet 12 May 2021

Christopher C Parker, Nicholas D James, Christopher D Brawley, Noel W Clarke, Alex P Hoyle, Adnan Ali, Alastair W S Ritchie, Gerhardt Attard, Simon Chowdhury, William Cross, David P Dearnaley, Silke Gillessen, Clare Gilson, Robert J Jones, Ruth E Langley, Zafar I Malik, Malcolm D Mason, David Matheson, Robin Millman, J Martin Russell, George N Thalmann, Claire L Amos, Roberto Alonzi, Amit Bahl, Alison Birtle, Omar Din, Hassan Douis, Chinnamani Eswar, Joanna Gale, Melissa R Gannon, Sai Jonnada, Sara Khaksar, Jason F Lester, Joe M O’Sullivan, Omi A Parikh, Ian D Pedley, Delia M Pudney, Denise J Sheehan, Narayanan Nair Srihari, Anna T H Tran, Mahesh K B Parmar*, Matthew R Sydes*, on behalf of the Systemic Therapy for Advanced or Metastatic Prostate cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy (STAMPEDE) investigators. Radiotherapy to the primary tumour for newly diagnosed, metastatic prostate cancer (STAMPEDE): a randomised controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet 2018 Dec 392(10162):2353-2366. DOI:

Quartagno M, Walker AS, Carpenter JR, Phillips PP, Parmar MK. Rethinking non-inferiority:  a practical trial design for optimising treatment duration. Clinical Trials 2018 June, 15(5): 477-488. doi:  10.1177/1740774518778027

Parmar MK, Cafferty FH, Sydes MR, Choodari-Oskooei B, Langley RE, Brown L, Phillips PP, Spears MR, Rowley S, Kaplan R, James ND, Maughan T, Paton N, Royston PJ. Testing many treatments within a single protocol over 10 years at MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL: Multi-arm. Multi-stage platform, umbrella and basket protocols. Clinical Trials (London, England), 2017 Aug 22, 14 (5). Doi: 10.1177/1740774517725697

James ND, de Bono JS, Spears MR, Clarke NW, Mason MD, Dearnaley DP, Ritchie AWS, Amos CL, Gilson C, Jones RJ, Matheson D, Millman R, Attard G, Chowdhury S, Cross WR, Gillessen S, Parker CC, Russell JM, Berthold DR, Brawley C, Adab F, Aung S, Birtle AJ, Bowen J, Brock S1, Chakraborti P, Ferguson C, Gale J, Gray E, Hingorani M, Hoskin PJ, Lester JF, Malik Z, McKinna F, McPhail N, Money-Kyrle J, O'Sullivan J, Parikh O, Protheroe A, Robinson A, Srihari NN, Thomas C, Wagstaff J, Wylie J, Zarkar A, Parmar MKB, Sydes MR; STAMPEDE Investigators. Abiraterone for Prostate Cancer Not Previously Treated with Hormone Therapy. N Engl J Med 2017 Jul 27;377(4):338-351. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1702900

Ahmed HU, El-Shater Bosaily, Brown LC, Gabe R, Kaplan R, Parmar MK, Collaco-Moraes Y, Ward K, Hindley RG, Freeman A, Kirkham AP, Oldroyd R8, Parker C, Emberton M; PROMIS study group. Diagnostic accuracy of multi-parametric MRI and TRUS biopsy in prostate cancer (PROMIS): a paired validating confirmatory study. Lancet 2017 Feb 25;389(10071):815-822 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32401-1

James, N. D., Sydes, M. R., Clarke, N. W., Mason, M. D., Dearnaley, D. P., Spears, M. R., Parmar, M. K. B. 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), 1163-1177. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01037-5