To determine whether changes in objective response measures proposed by the National Institutes of Health correlate with clinical benefit, such as symptom burden, quality of life, and survival outcomes, we analyzed data from a multicenter prospective cohort of 283 patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease requiring systemic treatment. The median follow-up time of survivors was 25.1 months (range, 5.4-47.7 months) after enrollment. Symptom measures included the Lee symptom scale and 10-point patient-reported symptoms. Quality-of-life measures included the Short Form-36, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplantation, and Human Activities Profile. Overall and organ-specific responses were calculated by comparing manifestations at the 6-month visit and those at the enrollment visit using a provisional algorithm. Complete or partial responses were considered "response," and stable or progressive disease was considered "no response." Overall response rate at 6 months was 32%. Organ-specific response rates were 45% for skin, 23% for eyes, 32% for mouth, and 51% for gastrointestinal tract. Response at 6 months, as calculated according to the provisional response algorithm, was correlated with changes in symptom burden in patients with newly diagnosed chronic graft-versus-host disease, but not with changes in quality of life or survival outcomes. Modification of the algorithm or validation of other more meaningful clinical endpoints is warranted for future clinical trials of treatment for chronic graft-versus-host disease.
- Hematopoietic cell transplantation
- National Institutes of Health
- Response criteria
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