Cancer Research, Statistics, and Treatment

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 128-

Authors' reply to Agarwal and Gupta


Simit Sapkota, Sampada Dessai 
 Department of Radiation Oncology, Kathmandu Cancer Centre, Mahamanjushree Nagarkot, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Sampada Dessai
Department of Surgical Oncology, Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Nepal




How to cite this article:
Sapkota S, Dessai S. Authors' reply to Agarwal and Gupta.Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:128-128


How to cite this URL:
Sapkota S, Dessai S. Authors' reply to Agarwal and Gupta. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 4 ];3:128-128
Available from: http://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/1/128/279102


Full Text



We thank Agarwal[1] and Gupta[2] for taking a keen interest in our article[3] and the accompanying editorial.[4] We, in general, disagree with the comments made in the editorial and by Dr. Agarwal on the survey response rate. The response rate has typically been used as a tool to evaluate the quality of surveys, and a 60% response rate or above is considered an adequate response.[5] However, this value is based on a rule of thumb assumption and lacks statistical validity. Further procedure for the calculation of response rate is ill-defined and hence frequently investigators calculate it by methods which lead to unrealistic but so-called optimal response rate. To overcome this and maintain high standards of survey-based studies, the American Association for Public Opinion Research has provided specific guidelines for the calculation of response rate.[6] These were followed in the current survey.

The next criticism raised is about the respondents being largely medical oncologists. We are surprised at this comment. Ovarian cancer management is predominantly done by surgical and medical oncologists. In the survey, 33 respondents were from the surgical fraternity, which is 44%, whereas medical oncology contributed to 41.3% of the survey population. Hence, the survey truly depicts a combined opinion of both fraternities.

Testing for BRCA mutation is not only therapeutic but also has implications on the management of the rest of the family members.[7],[8] Counseling and screening needs to provide for the other members. Hence, we disagree with Dr. Agarwal's comment that testing should not be performed if the patient cannot afford the poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors.

Finally, we agree that we need India-specific guidelines. However, this suggestion keeps being made in every discussion, but there is no specific action taken. The only way we are going to get India-specific guidelines by doing India-specific research and which the need of the hour is.[9]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Agarwal P. Treatment pattern of ovarian cancer in Southeast Asia. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:125-6.
2Gupta T. Management of ovarian cancer. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:126-7.
3Sapkota S, Abhyankar A, Dessai S. Ovarian cancer practice survey from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Nations. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2019;2:158-62.
4Kaur S, Singh R. Patterns of care for ovarian cancer. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2019;2:217-20.
5Johnson TP, Wislar JS. Response rates and nonresponse errors in surveys. JAMA 2012;307:1805-6.
6Standard Definitions – AAPOR. Available from: https://www.aapor.org/Education-Resources/For-Researchers/Poll-Survey-FAQ/Response-Rates-An-Overview.aspx. [Last accessed on 2020 Jan 14].
7Chheda P, Pande S, Dama T, Vinarkar S, Chanekar M, Limaye S, et al. Spectrum of germline BRCA1/2 mutations in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome in Indian population: A central reference laboratory experience. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:32-41.
8Hussain SM. Molecular-based screening and therapeutics of breast and ovarian cancer in low- and middle-income countries. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:81-4.
9Noronha V. Making a case for cancer research in India. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2018;1:71-4.