Dr Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano

Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Institute of Applied Health Research
Public Health Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano is a methodologist working in the Medical Test and Biomarker Evaluation Research Group, led by Prof. Jon Deeks. Her main research focus is developing the methods for evaluating the clinical effectiveness of diagnostic tests.

Qualifications

  • M.Sc. Palaeoecology, UCL, 2003
  • B.Sc. (Hons) Archaeology, UCL, 2001
  • Ph.D. University of Birmingham, 2012

Biography

My background is in palaeoepidemiology and palaeopathology, the analysis of human skeletal remains and reconstruction of ancient patterns of disease. I qualified as an archaeologist in 2001, and after a year in commercial archaeology specialised as human osteologist at UCL. After a few years of working as an independent specialist, I decided to commit my skills to the world of the living and took up a research position with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. There I contributed to the clinical guideline publication The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse, the result of a comprehensive, expert-led systematic review.

In 2007 I joined the Department of Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics to develop the methods used to evaluate diagnostic tests under Prof. Jon Deeks and funded by the MRC Methodology Programme.

I am particularly interested in developing the theory that underpins our understanding of how patients' health may be changed by the tests they receive in healthcare, and how clinicians’ behaviour responds to different testing strategies.

Teaching

  • Epidemiological Methods to third year medical students,
  • Clinical epidemiology SGT sessions, Year 1 medical students
  • HTA+Evidence Synthesis MSc

Doctoral research

PhD title
Using randomised controlled trials to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of diagnostic tests: How useful are test-treatment RCTs?

Research

I recently finished a methodological analysis of Test-Treatment RCTs aiming to investigate how reliable and informative these designs are for evaluating the clinical effectiveness of diagnostic tests.

In work as a methodologist on several prospective primary evaluations of diagnostic test performance and effectiveness.

Other activities

As a member of the Medical Test and Biomarker Evaluation Research Group, I help to organise the biennial international symposium: Methods for Evaluating Tests and Biomarkers. This is a two-day research conference to promote and discuss the challenging methodological issues surrounding medical test evaluation.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Takwoingi, Y, Dinnes, J, Chuchu, N, Bayliss, S, Davenport, C, Matin, RN, Godfrey, K, O'Sullivan, C, Gulati, A, Chan, SA, Durack, A, O'Connell, S, Gardiner, MD, Bamber, J, Deeks, J & Williams, HC 2018, 'Computer assisted diagnosis techniques (dermoscopy and spectroscopy-based) for the diagnosis of skin cancer in adults', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 12, CD013186. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013186

Dinnes, J, Deeks, J, Chuchu, N, Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Matin, RN, Thomson, DR, Wong, KY, Aldridge, RB, Abbott, R, Fawzy, M, Bayliss, S, Grainge, MJ, Takwoingi, Y, Davenport, C, Godfrey, K, Walter, FM & Williams, HC 2018, 'Dermoscopy, with and without visual inspection, for diagnosing melanoma in adults', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 12, CD011902. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011902.pub2

Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Dinnes, J, Chuchu, N, Bayliss, S, Takwoingi, Y, Davenport, C, Matin, RN, O'Sullivan, C, Roskell, D, Deeks, J & Williams, HC 2018, 'Exfoliative cytology for diagnosing basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancers in adults', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 12, CD013187. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013187

Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Dinnes, J, Deeks, J, Chuchu, N, Bayliss, S, Davenport, C, Takwoingi, Y, Godfrey, K, O'Sullivan, C, Matin, RN, Tehrani, H & Williams, HC 2018, 'Optical coherence tomography for the diagnosis of skin cancer in adults', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 12, CD013189. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013189

Dinnes, J, Deeks, J, Grainge, MJ, Chuchu, N, Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Matin, RN, Thomson, DR, Wong, KY, Aldridge, RB, Abbott, R, Fawzy, M, Bayliss, S, Takwoingi, Y, Davenport, C, Godfrey, K, Walter, FM & Williams, HC 2018, 'Visual inspection for diagnosing cutaneous melanoma in adults', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 12, CD013194. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013194

Taylor-Phillips, S, Stinton, C, Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Seedat, F, Clarke, A & Deeks, J 2018, 'Association between use of systematic reviews and national policy recommendations of whether to screen newborns for rare diseases: systematic review and meta-analysis', BMJ, vol. 361, k1612. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1612

Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Dinnes, J, Taylor-Phillips, S, Davenport, C, Hyde, C & Deeks, JJ 2017, 'Research waste in diagnostic trials: a methods review evaluating the reporting of test-treatment interventions', BMC Medical Research Methodology, vol. 17, 32. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-016-0286-0

Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Dinnes, J, Sitch, AJ, Hyde, C & Deeks, JJ 2017, 'Test-treatment RCTs are susceptible to bias: a review of the methodological quality of randomized trials that evaluate diagnostic tests', BMC Medical Research Methodology, vol. 17, no. 1, 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-016-0287-z

Dinnes, J, Bancos, I, Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Chortis, V, Davenport, C, Bayliss, S, Sahdev, A, Guest, P, Fassnacht, M, Deeks, J & Arlt, W 2016, 'Management of endocrine disease: Imaging for the diagnosis of malignancy in incidentally discovered adrenal masses: a systematic review and meta-analysis ', European Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 175, pp. R51-R64. https://doi.org/10.1530/EJE-16-0461

Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Davenport, C, Eisinga, A, Hyde, C & Deeks, J 2012, 'A capture-recapture analysis demonstrated that randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes are rare.', Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 282-287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.07.003

Ferrante di Ruffano, L, Hyde, CJ, Mccaffery, KJ, Bossuyt, PMM & Deeks, JJ 2012, 'Assessing the value of diagnostic tests : a framework for designing and evaluating trials', BMJ, vol. 344, e686. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e686

Comment/debate

CONSORT-AI steering group & SPIRIT-AI Steering Group 2019, 'Reporting guidelines for clinical trials evaluating artificial intelligence interventions are needed', Nature Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0603-3

Letter

Ferrante di Ruffano, L & Deeks, JJ 2015, 'Test-treatment RCTs are sheep in wolves' clothing', Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.06.013

Review article

Cochrane Skin Cancer Diagnostic Test Accuracy Group 2019, 'Ultrasound, CT, MRI, or PET-CT for staging and re-staging of adults with cutaneous melanoma', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 2019, no. 7, CD012806. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012806.pub2

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