Advertisement

Syndicate

Physician Resources Home arrow Medical News arrow Cancer treatments in phase 3 trials can be successful
Cancer treatments in phase 3 trials can be successful
Written by NetDoc.com Medical News Feed   

CHICAGO—About one-fourth to one-half of new cancer treatments that reach assessment in phase 3 randomized clinical trials are eventually proven successful, according to a report in the March 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Discuss this article on the forums. (0 posts)

 

 

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, but continuous improvements have been made in survival and other outcomes, according to background information in the article. "To a large extent, this has occurred through the introduction of new treatments tested in clinical trials, with randomized controlled trials (RCTs) widely considered to be the most reliable method of assessing differences between the effects of health care interventions," the authors write. "Cancer is the only disease for which the National Institutes of Health has consistently funded a cooperative clinical trial infrastructure. Despite this investment, little is known about the proportion of clinical trials that have led to the discovery of successful new treatments."

Benjamin Djulbegovic, M.D., Ph.D., of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and colleagues extracted data from all completed phase 3 randomized clinical trials conducted by the National Cancer Institute cooperative groups since their inception in 1955. A total of 624 trials involving 216,451 patients were analyzed.

Overall, 30 percent of the trials had statistically significant results; in 80 percent of those cases, new treatments were superior to established protocols. The original researchers reported that the risk-benefit ratio favored new treatments in 41 percent of comparisons, while standard treatments were favored in 59 percent of comparisons.

"The real effects of new treatments compared with standard treatments in terms of patient outcomes such as survival is best measured by quantitative pooling of data," the authors write. "When done this way, new treatments are, on average, found to be slightly superior to standard treatments, with a 5 percent relative reduction in the death rate. This, of course, should not be understood as the average effects of new discoveries being equally spread among all patients." In 15 percent of the trials, breakthrough therapies were discovered; in 2 percent of the cases, these reduced the death rate by more than 50 percent.

"In conclusion, society has received a good return on its investment in the cooperative oncology group system," which funds the trials, the authors write. "The public can expect that about 25 percent to 50 percent of new cancer treatments that reach the stage of assessment in randomized clinical trials will prove to be successful. This pattern of successes has become more consistent over time. However, our results also indicate that the absolute number of discoveries might be improved if the proportion of inconclusive trials is reduced."
(Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[6]:632-642.

Editor's Note: Co-author Dr. Bennett received consulting fees and grant support from Sanofi-Aventis and AMGEN. Co-author Dr. Bepler received consulting fees and grant support from Eli Lilly and Company and Sanofi-Aventis. This study was supported by the Research Program on Research Integrity, Office of Research Integrity and National Institutes of Health. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

For more information, contact JAMA/Archives media relations at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations{at}jama-archives.org .

Discuss this article on the forums. (0 posts)

 
< Prev   Next >

Common Diseases

Swine Flu - Updates and information on H1N1 2009 (AKA Swine Influenza) pandemic.

Ankylosing spondylitis - Current protocols for diagnosis and treatment options.

Wegener granulomatosis - Autoimmune etiology and clinical course.

Diabetes - disease and management information, including diagnosis, typical treatment plans and diabetes supplies.

Advertisement

Medical Careers

The US medical jobs market has stayed hot for health care providers. Whether you believe that a provider shortage is in the offing or that the ratio of physicians-to-patients is too high, physician jobs and nursing jobs abound.

A wide variety of medical jobs can be found in the netdoc health care job listings. Particular strengths include permanent and locum tenens physician jobs, nursing jobs across the US, and radiology positions.

Other resources include physician salary information, medical career guidance, and the ability to post physician jobs.

Polls

When hiring your medical practice office manager, what was the most important consideration?
 
Copyright 2005 - 2019 Medical Resource Group, LLC. All rights reserved.