1. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Rephrasing

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Apr 26, 2011.

    I don't like this sentence of mine very much--too cumbersome. Ideas?

    Once preclinical studies, that is, in vitro or animal studies show promising results for a particular drug, a phase I study is designed in order to determine the maximum tolerated dose in humans.

    Thank you!!
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You start off in typical academic style, then you revert to the personal. I actually can’t get what you mean by ‘phase’. The rash of commas is also a bit irritating, although in fact you are missing one:

    Once preclinical studies, that is, in vitro or animal studies, show promising results for a particular drug, a phase I study is designed in order to determine the maximum tolerated dose in humans.

    The sentence is still hard to read imo. Since this seems to be academic writing, this is a case where brackets (parentheses) actually make things clearer--it’s only in creative writing you should go easy on them. You need to reword along the lines of:

    Once preclinical studies (in vitro or animal studies) show promising results for a particular drug, a phase (?) is studied, designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose in humans.
     
  3. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    By "phase I", lameri means the technical term used to indicate a particular phase in drug trials, in which the "I" is the Roman numberal for one.

    I can't find an authoratative grammar reference on this, but looking at usage in publications, "Phase I" should always be capitalized; I think this will help alleviate some of the confusion. Aside from that, using a parenthetical instead of an awkwardly worded clause would probably help out quite a bit. If you wish to retain the phrasing "that is", consider using the Latin equivalent "i.e." within a parenthetical statement.

    This seems perfectly clear to me, and reads well. The one other thing you may wish to consider, depending on the context, is getting rid of the passive voice, but it is widely used and accepted in scientific writing, so if you can't get rid of it, don't worry about it at all.
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    In that case, it should be:
    '...a phase 1 study is designed, in order to....'
    Is the Roman numeral mandatory? It is really confusing.
     
  5. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    I considered using parentheses, but the reason why I didn't was that it is part of a dialogue (sorry I didn't mention it). In those situations I don't like using parentheses, as they have a connotation of "you can leave me out, I'm not important," but since a character is actually saying that sentence, nothing he says is really to be left out.

    Thanks for your suggestions. (Yes, the "I" in "Phase I" needs to be left, as there are several phases in the process of making a drug).
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "that is, in vitro or animal studies" is a parenthetic phrase, and so would need a comma after it as well as before it. But because the phrase already contains a comma I think it would be clearer to set it apart with dashes or parentheses. And you really have two ideas in the sentence (when the Phase I studies are designed and what their purpose is), so you could split the sentence in two:
    Once preclinical studies (that is, in vitro or animal studies) show promising results for a particular drug, a Phase I study is designed. The purpose of the Phase I study is to determine the maximum tolerated dose in humans. ​
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Incidentally, do you mean "tolerated", or do you mean "tolerable"?
     
  8. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Thanks. My rationale to prefer "tolerable" is that the dose is not defined yet, it is to be determined by how the participants can tolerate it. Once it's determined, I would refer to it as "the maximum tolerable dose."
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would have thought that the thing to be determined should be the same as the thing that has been determined (unless something goes wrong), but I guess you know the jargon of your field better than I do.
     
  10. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    I think tolerable / tolerated is superfluous here. "Maximum dose" says it all.
    Having said this, in chemistry the usual term is Threshold Limit Value (or TLV), but I also have come across Maximum Allowable Concentration. The latter I believe is a translation from other languages.

    HTH
     
  11. Omega14
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    Omega14 Member

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    If this is dialogue, presumably someone is describing the drug discovery process to someone else? Is it fiction you're writing?

    I would perhaps re-phrase it slightly. The "I" in your sentence could be confusing to anyone not familiar with the various stages of drug discovery. The phrase "the phase I study" (particularly without the capital P) could be confused as meaning "the stage I am working on". I had to read it twice before I realised it was "Phase I" and not "I study"

    Once preclinical studies – that is, in vitro or animal studies – show promising results for a particular drug, the compound then enters a Phase I clinical trial, in order to determine the maximum dose tolerated in humans.

    Rachel
     
  12. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Roman numerals are always used in this context.

    If it is academic writing, it shouldn't be confusing to the 'target audience', I don't think...
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    aranthal's parentheticals are the best way to go, imo... and i agree using the roman numeral without capitalizing 'phase' makes no sense... used with the capital would be better for a professional paper than lower case and arabic numeral...
     
  14. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Thanks for your input!
     
  15. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    No it isn't, and no it doesn't. The maximum tolerable dose is unlikely to be the same as the maximum survivable dose.
     

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