Mixed Treatment Comparison (MTC)

A mixed treatment comparison (MTC) is a statistical method that integrates both direct evidence (from trials directly comparing the interventions of interest) and indirect evidence (from trials comparing each intervention of interest with a common comparator) to estimate the comparative efficacy and/or safety of interventions for a defined population. MTCs are an extension of the traditional meta-analysis and are often referred to as ‘network meta-analysis.’

Key features of MTC include:

– Direct Evidence: Data from head-to-head trials that directly compare the interventions.

– Indirect Evidence: Data from trials that compare each intervention with a common comparator, allowing for indirect comparisons between the interventions of interest.

– Network Meta-Analysis: The analytical framework used in MTC to synthesize both direct and indirect evidence, providing a comprehensive comparison of multiple treatments.

MTCs enable the estimation of relative treatment effects even when direct comparisons are not available for all pairs of interventions. This method allows for a more complete and nuanced understanding of the comparative efficacy and safety of various treatments, aiding in more informed decision-making for healthcare providers and policymakers.