Monday, July 31, 2000
Demonstrating an improvement in survival compared to standard therapy often is a difficult hurdle for clinical trials in patients with solid tumors. Therefore companies often turn to tumor response as a surrogate marker to assess clinical benefit, an intuitive link that has not been directly proven.
Now a meta-analysis of colorectal cancer trials, published
in The Lancet, has shown that tumor response may in fact predict survival in
that disease. However, the relative improvement in survival is very small compared
to the absolute improvement in response, suggesting that individual trials may
be too small to make tumor response a replacement for survival data.