JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Actioning the findings of hard endpoint clinical trials as they emerge in the realm of chronic kidney disease care: a review and a call to action.

Fewer than half of patients treated with hemodialysis survive 5 years. Multiple therapeutics are used to address the complications of advanced chronic kidney disease but most have not been found to improve clinical outcomes. Clinical trials of treatment innovations for chronic kidney diseases and dialysis care have been suboptimal in number and quality. Recent trials are changing this trend. Practice and policy change when new evidence emerges remains frequently impeded by resource and organizational constraints and accordingly, clinical practice guidelines are updated years or decades after definitive evidence is produced. Ultimately, practice change in health systems is slow, leading to impaired uptake of effective medical interventions and lower value healthcare, although innovations in rapid guideline production are emerging. What can be done to ensure that conclusive evidence is taken up in practice, policy and healthcare funding? We use the example of the recently published hard endpoint study "Comparison of high-dose HDF with high-flux HD" (CONVINCE) (hemodiafiltration versus hemodialysis), to explain how a new trial can impact on medical knowledge and change in practices. We (i) assess how the trial can be placed in the context of the totality of the evidence, (ii) define whether or not further trials of convective dialysis therapies are still needed and (iii) examine whether the evidence for convective therapies is now ready to inform practice, policy and funding change. When looking at CONVINCE in the context of the totality of evidence, we show that it addresses dialysis quality improvement priorities and is consistent with other trials evaluating convective dialysis therapies, and that the evidence for convective dialysis therapies is now definitive. Once updated evidence for cost-effectiveness in specific healthcare settings and patient-reported outcomes become available, we should therefore determine whether or not clinical practice guidelines should recommend uptake of convective dialysis therapies routinely, and move on to evaluating other treatments.

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