End points for adjuvant therapy trials: Has the time come to accept disease-free survival as a surrogate end point for overall survival?

Sharlene Gill, Daniel Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The intent of adjuvant therapy is to eradicate micrometastatic residual disease following curative resection with the goal of preventing or delaying recurrence. The time-honored standard for demonstrating efficacy of new adjuvant therapies is an improvement in overall survival (OS). This typically requires phase III trials of large sample size with lengthy follow-up. With the intent of reducing the cost and time of completing such trials, there is considerable interest in developing alternative or surrogate end points. A surrogate end point may be employed as a substitute to directly assess the effects of an intervention on an already accepted clinical end point such as mortality. When used judiciously, surrogate end points can accelerate the evaluation of new therapies, resulting in the more timely dissemination of effective therapies to patients. The current review provides a perspective on the suitability and validity of disease-free survival (DFS) as an alternative end point for OS. Criteria for establishing surrogacy and the advantages and limitations associated with the use of DFS as a primary end point in adjuvant clinical trials and as the basis for approval of new adjuvant therapies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-629
Number of pages6
JournalOncologist
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 5 2006

Keywords

  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Disease-free survival
  • Overall survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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