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1.  Comparison of MAPIE versus MAP in patients with a poor response to preoperative chemotherapy for newly diagnosed high-grade osteosarcoma (EURAMOS-1): an open-label, international, randomised controlled trial 
The Lancet. Oncology  2016;17(10):1396-1408.
Summary
Background
We designed the EURAMOS-1 trial to investigate whether intensified postoperative chemotherapy for patients whose tumour showed a poor response to preoperative chemotherapy (≥10% viable tumour) improved event-free survival in patients with high-grade osteosarcoma.
Methods
EURAMOS-1 was an open-label, international, phase 3 randomised, controlled trial. Consenting patients with newly diagnosed, resectable, high-grade osteosarcoma aged 40 years or younger were eligible for randomisation. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either postoperative cisplatin, doxorubicin, and methotrexate (MAP) or MAP plus ifosfamide and etoposide (MAPIE) using concealed permuted blocks with three stratification factors: trial group; location of tumour (proximal femur or proximal humerus vs other limb vs axial skeleton); and presence of metastases (no vs yes or possible). The MAP regimen consisted of cisplatin 120 mg/m2, doxorubicin 37·5 mg/m2 per day on days 1 and 2 (on weeks 1 and 6) followed 3 weeks later by high-dose methotrexate 12 g/m2 over 4 h. The MAPIE regimen consisted of MAP as a base regimen, with the addition of high-dose ifosfamide (14 g/m2) at 2·8 g/m2 per day with equidose mesna uroprotection, followed by etoposide 100 mg/m2 per day over 1 h on days 1–5. The primary outcome measure was event-free survival measured in the intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00134030.
Findings
Between April 14, 2005, and June 30, 2011, 2260 patients were registered from 325 sites in 17 countries. 618 patients with poor response were randomly assigned; 310 to receive MAP and 308 to receive MAPIE. Median follow-up was 62·1 months (IQR 46·6–76·6); 62·3 months (IQR 46·9–77·1) for the MAP group and 61·1 months (IQR 46·5–75·3) for the MAPIE group. 307 event-free survival events were reported (153 in the MAP group vs 154 in the MAPIE group). 193 deaths were reported (101 in the MAP group vs 92 in the MAPIE group). Event-free survival did not differ between treatment groups (hazard ratio [HR] 0·98 [95% CI 0·78–1·23]); hazards were non-proportional (p=0·0003). The most common grade 3–4 adverse events were neutropenia (268 [89%] patients in MAP vs 268 [90%] in MAPIE), thrombocytopenia (231 [78% in MAP vs 248 [83%] in MAPIE), and febrile neutropenia without documented infection (149 [50%] in MAP vs 217 [73%] in MAPIE). MAPIE was associated with more frequent grade 4 non-haematological toxicity than MAP (35 [12%] of 301 in the MAP group vs 71 [24%] of 298 in the MAPIE group). Two patients died during postoperative therapy, one from infection (although their absolute neutrophil count was normal), which was definitely related to their MAP treatment (specifically doxorubicin and cisplatin), and one from left ventricular systolic dysfunction, which was probably related to MAPIE treatment (specifically doxorubicin). One suspected unexpected serious adverse reaction was reported in the MAP group: bone marrow infarction due to methotrexate.
Interpretation
EURAMOS-1 results do not support the addition of ifosfamide and etoposide to postoperative chemotherapy in patients with poorly responding osteosarcoma because its administration was associated with increased toxicity without improving event-free survival. The results define standard of care for this population. New strategies are required to improve outcomes in this setting.
Funding
UK Medical Research Council, National Cancer Institute, European Science Foundation, St Anna Kinderkrebsforschung, Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen, Parents Organization, Danish Medical Research Council, Academy of Finland, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Deutsche Krebshilfe, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Semmelweis Foundation, ZonMw (Council for Medical Research), Research Council of Norway, Scandinavian Sarcoma Group, Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group, Cancer Research UK, National Institute for Health Research, University College London Hospitals, and Biomedical Research Centre.
doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30214-5
PMCID: PMC5052459  PMID: 27569442
2.  How do you design randomised trials for smaller populations? A framework 
BMC Medicine  2016;14:183.
How should we approach trial design when we can get some, but not all, of the way to the numbers required for a randomised phase III trial?
We present an ordered framework for designing randomised trials to address the problem when the ideal sample size is considered larger than the number of participants that can be recruited in a reasonable time frame. Staying with the frequentist approach that is well accepted and understood in large trials, we propose a framework that includes small alterations to the design parameters. These aim to increase the numbers achievable and also potentially reduce the sample size target. The first step should always be to attempt to extend collaborations, consider broadening eligibility criteria and increase the accrual time or follow-up time. The second set of ordered considerations are the choice of research arm, outcome measures, power and target effect. If the revised design is still not feasible, in the third step we propose moving from two- to one-sided significance tests, changing the type I error rate, using covariate information at the design stage, re-randomising patients and borrowing external information.
We discuss the benefits of some of these possible changes and warn against others. We illustrate, with a worked example based on the Euramos-1 trial, the application of this framework in designing a trial that is feasible, while still providing a good evidence base to evaluate a research treatment.
This framework would allow appropriate evaluation of treatments when large-scale phase III trials are not possible, but where the need for high-quality randomised data is as pressing as it is for common diseases.
doi:10.1186/s12916-016-0722-3
PMCID: PMC5123370  PMID: 27884190
Randomised trials; Trial design; Smaller populations; Uncommon diseases
3.  Addition of docetaxel, zoledronic acid, or both to first-line long-term hormone therapy in prostate cancer (STAMPEDE): survival results from an adaptive, multiarm, multistage, platform randomised controlled trial 
Lancet (London, England)  2016;387(10024):1163-1177.
Summary
Background
Long-term hormone therapy has been the standard of care for advanced prostate cancer since the 1940s. STAMPEDE is a randomised controlled trial using a multiarm, multistage platform design. It recruits men with high-risk, locally advanced, metastatic or recurrent prostate cancer who are starting first-line long-term hormone therapy. We report primary survival results for three research comparisons testing the addition of zoledronic acid, docetaxel, or their combination to standard of care versus standard of care alone.
Methods
Standard of care was hormone therapy for at least 2 years; radiotherapy was encouraged for men with N0M0 disease to November, 2011, then mandated; radiotherapy was optional for men with node-positive non-metastatic (N+M0) disease. Stratified randomisation (via minimisation) allocated men 2:1:1:1 to standard of care only (SOC-only; control), standard of care plus zoledronic acid (SOC + ZA), standard of care plus docetaxel (SOC + Doc), or standard of care with both zoledronic acid and docetaxel (SOC + ZA + Doc). Zoledronic acid (4 mg) was given for six 3-weekly cycles, then 4-weekly until 2 years, and docetaxel (75 mg/m2) for six 3-weekly cycles with prednisolone 10 mg daily. There was no blinding to treatment allocation. The primary outcome measure was overall survival. Pairwise comparisons of research versus control had 90% power at 2·5% one-sided α for hazard ratio (HR) 0·75, requiring roughly 400 control arm deaths. Statistical analyses were undertaken with standard log-rank-type methods for time-to-event data, with hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs derived from adjusted Cox models. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00268476) and ControlledTrials.com (ISRCTN78818544).
Findings
2962 men were randomly assigned to four groups between Oct 5, 2005, and March 31, 2013. Median age was 65 years (IQR 60–71). 1817 (61%) men had M+ disease, 448 (15%) had N+/X M0, and 697 (24%) had N0M0. 165 (6%) men were previously treated with local therapy, and median prostate-specific antigen was 65 ng/mL (IQR 23–184). Median follow-up was 43 months (IQR 30–60). There were 415 deaths in the control group (347 [84%] prostate cancer). Median overall survival was 71 months (IQR 32 to not reached) for SOC-only, not reached (32 to not reached) for SOC + ZA (HR 0·94, 95% CI 0·79–1·11; p=0·450), 81 months (41 to not reached) for SOC + Doc (0·78, 0·66–0·93; p=0·006), and 76 months (39 to not reached) for SOC + ZA + Doc (0·82, 0·69–0·97; p=0·022). There was no evidence of heterogeneity in treatment effect (for any of the treatments) across prespecified subsets. Grade 3–5 adverse events were reported for 399 (32%) patients receiving SOC, 197 (32%) receiving SOC + ZA, 288 (52%) receiving SOC + Doc, and 269 (52%) receiving SOC + ZA + Doc.
Interpretation
Zoledronic acid showed no evidence of survival improvement and should not be part of standard of care for this population. Docetaxel chemotherapy, given at the time of long-term hormone therapy initiation, showed evidence of improved survival accompanied by an increase in adverse events. Docetaxel treatment should become part of standard of care for adequately fit men commencing long-term hormone therapy.
Funding
Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Pfizer, Janssen, Astellas, NIHR Clinical Research Network, Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01037-5
PMCID: PMC4800035  PMID: 26719232
4.  Data sharing and the evolving role of statisticians 
BMC Medical Research Methodology  2016;16(Suppl 1):75.
Background
Greater transparency and, in particular, sharing of clinical study reports and patient level data for further research is an increasingly important topic for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and other organisations who sponsor and conduct clinical research as well as academic researchers and patient advocacy groups. Statisticians are ambassadors for data sharing and are central to its success. They play an integral role in data sharing discussions within their companies and also externally helping to shape policy and processes while providing input into practical solutions to aid data sharing. Data sharing is generating changes in the required profile for statisticians in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, as well as academic institutions and patient advocacy groups.
Discussion
Successful statisticians need to possess many qualities required in today’s pharmaceutical environment such as collaboration, diplomacy, written and oral skills and an ability to be responsive; they are also knowledgeable when debating strategy and analytical techniques. However, increasing data transparency will require statisticians to evolve and learn new skills and behaviours during their career which may not have been an accepted part of the traditional role. Statisticians will move from being the gate-keepers of data to be data facilitators. To adapt successfully to this new environment, the role of the statistician is likely to be broader, including defining new responsibilities that lie beyond the boundaries of the traditional role. Statisticians should understand how data transparency can benefit them and the potential strategic advantage it can bring and be fully aware of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry commitments to data transparency and the policies within their company or research institute in addition to focusing on reviewing requests and provisioning data.
Summary
Data transparency will evolve the role of statisticians within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, academia and research bodies to a level which may not have been an accepted part of their traditional role or career. In the future, skills will be required to manage challenges arising from data sharing; statisticians will need strong scientific and statistical guiding principles for reanalysis and supplementary analyses based on researchers’ requests, have enhanced consultancy skills, in particular the ability to defend good statistical practice in the face of criticism and the ability to critique methods of analysis. Statisticians will also require expertise in data privacy regulations, data redaction and anonymisation and be able to assess the probability of re-identification, an ability to understand analyses conducted by researchers and recognise why such analyses may propose different results compared to the original analyses. Bringing these skills to the implementation of data sharing and interpretation of the results will help to maximise the value of shared data while guarding against misleading conclusions.
doi:10.1186/s12874-016-0172-9
PMCID: PMC4943485  PMID: 27410483
Statistician; Clinical trial; Data sharing; Transparency; Pharmaceutical research; Biotechnology research; Academic research
5.  Impact of Radiotherapy When Added to Androgen-Deprivation Therapy for Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer: Long-Term Quality-of-Life Outcomes From the NCIC CTG PR3/MRC PR07 Randomized Trial 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2015;33(19):2151-2157.
Purpose
The NCIC CTG PR3/MRC PR07 randomized phase III trial compared androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) alone versus ADT with radiotherapy (RT) for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. This article reports the health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes of this trial.
Patients and Methods
A total of 1,205 patients were randomly allocated to either ADT alone or ADT with RT. HRQOL was assessed at baseline and every 6 months thereafter using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Questionnaire and a prostate cancer–specific checklist or the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Prostate questionnaire. Mean changes from baseline scores for five function domains and nine symptom domains were analyzed as those most relevant to ADT and RT. The proportions of patients with improved, stable, or worsened HRQOL scores according to instrument-specific minimal important differences were calculated.
Results
Baseline questionnaires were completed by 1,028 patients (88%). At 6 months, RT had a statistically significant impact on mean score for bowel symptoms (P = .02), diarrhea (P < .001), urinary function (P = .003), and erectile dysfunction (P = .008); by 3 years, however, there were no significant between-group differences in any domain. Generalized linear mixed modeling revealed no significant between-arm differences in any of the function scales but showed significant deterioration in both arms over time for Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Prostate total score, treatment outcome index, and physical and functional well-being.
Conclusion
The addition of RT to ADT for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer significantly improved overall survival and had only modest and transient negative impact on relevant domains of HRQOL.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.57.8724
PMCID: PMC4477787  PMID: 26014295
6.  Estimating the Impact of Randomised Control Trial Results on Clinical Practice: Results from a Survey and Modelling Study of Androgen Deprivation Therapy plus Radiotherapy for Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer 
European Urology Focus  2016;2(3):276-283.
Background
Recent trials have shown that the addition of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) improves survival among men with locally advanced prostate cancer.
Objective
To examine the potential impact of these trials on changes in clinical practice and life-years saved.
Design, setting, and participants
A model was developed to examine the impact of changes in clinical practice in the UK. A survey of clinicians who treat men with prostate cancer in the UK and Canada was performed.
Measurements
Outcomes of interest were the proportion of patients treated with different approaches and the predicted number of life-years saved due to changes in clinical practice. Survey data were cross-tabulated and Pearson's χ2 tests were applied.
Results and limitations
The survey was completed by 193 clinicians (105 from the UK, 80 from Canada), of whom 70% were clinical/radiation oncologists, 8% were medical oncologists, and 15% were urologists. UK respondents were more likely to report a change in practice in response to the results (44% UK vs 21% Canada). Canadians were more likely to have already been using ADT plus radiotherapy (77% Canada vs 56% UK). The increase in the proportion of patients in the UK treated with ADT + EBRT could result in around 3730–5177 extra life-years at 15 yr from a cohort of 7930 men diagnosed in a single calendar year, compared to if all had been treated with ADT alone.
Conclusions
Trial findings have changed clinical practice, meaning that men with locally advanced prostate cancer are likely to survive longer.
Patient summary
Doctors in the UK have changed practice in response to evidence on the superiority of hormone therapy plus radiotherapy to hormone therapy alone. These changes will improve the survival of men with locally advanced prostate cancer. Further reductions in the use of hormone therapy alone could further improve survival.
Take Home Message
Clinicians in the UK have changed practice in response to evidence about the superiority of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) plus radiotherapy to ADT alone. These changes will improve the survival of men with locally advanced prostate cancer. Further reductions in use of ADT alone could further improve survival.
doi:10.1016/j.euf.2015.11.004
PMCID: PMC5064290  PMID: 27766313
Androgen deprivation therapy; Clinical practice; External beam radiotherapy; Impact; Knowledge translation; Prostate cancer
7.  Meta-analysis of Genome Wide Association Studies Identifies Genetic Markers of Late Toxicity Following Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer 
EBioMedicine  2016;10:150-163.
Nearly 50% of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy. Late radiotherapy toxicity affects quality-of-life in long-term cancer survivors and risk of side-effects in a minority limits doses prescribed to the majority of patients. Development of a test predicting risk of toxicity could benefit many cancer patients. We aimed to meta-analyze individual level data from four genome-wide association studies from prostate cancer radiotherapy cohorts including 1564 men to identify genetic markers of toxicity. Prospectively assessed two-year toxicity endpoints (urinary frequency, decreased urine stream, rectal bleeding, overall toxicity) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations were tested using multivariable regression, adjusting for clinical and patient-related risk factors. A fixed-effects meta-analysis identified two SNPs: rs17599026 on 5q31.2 with urinary frequency (odds ratio [OR] 3.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.08–4.69, p-value 4.16 × 10− 8) and rs7720298 on 5p15.2 with decreased urine stream (OR 2.71, 95% CI 1.90–3.86, p-value = 3.21 × 10− 8). These SNPs lie within genes that are expressed in tissues adversely affected by pelvic radiotherapy including bladder, kidney, rectum and small intestine. The results show that heterogeneous radiotherapy cohorts can be combined to identify new moderate-penetrance genetic variants associated with radiotherapy toxicity. The work provides a basis for larger collaborative efforts to identify enough variants for a future test involving polygenic risk profiling.
Highlights
•SNPs rs17599026 and rs7720298 increase risk of urinary toxicity following radiotherapy in prostate cancer patients.•Data from heterogeneous radiotherapy cohorts can be meta-analyzed to identify genetic variants associated with toxicity.•A SNP-based predictive assay could improve the therapeutic index of radiotherapy and aid in individualization of cancer treatment.
Risk of radiotherapy side-effects in a minority limits doses given to the majority. A test is needed to predict risks so treatments are personalized. Recent whole-genome studies in a few hundred patients found none or one genetic variant increasing side-effect risk. Larger studies are needed, but difficult because treatments differ between centers. Our study of > 1500 prostate cancer patients from four centers found two variants. The research shows combining heterogeneous radiotherapy datasets works and larger collaborative efforts identifying enough variants for a future test are worthwhile. As nearly 50% of cancer patients have radiotherapy, our work could benefit many people.
doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.07.022
PMCID: PMC5036513  PMID: 27515689
SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism; GWAS, genome-wide association study; EBRT, external bean radiotherapy; BED, biologic effective dose; MAF, minor allele frequency; STAT, standardized total average toxicity; PCA, principle components analysis; TURP, transurethral resection of the prostate; LD, linkage disequilibrium; ENCODE, encyclopedia of DNA elements; eQTL, expression quantitative trait locus; GTEx, Genotype-Tissue Expression project; Radiogenomics; Genome-wide association study; Prostate cancer; Radiation toxicity; Cancer survivorship; Quality of life
8.  Methotrexate, Doxorubicin, and Cisplatin (MAP) Plus Maintenance Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2b Versus MAP Alone in Patients With Resectable High-Grade Osteosarcoma and Good Histologic Response to Preoperative MAP: First Results of the EURAMOS-1 Good Response Randomized Controlled Trial 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2015;33(20):2279-2287.
Purpose
EURAMOS-1, an international randomized controlled trial, investigated maintenance therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2b (IFN-α-2b) in patients whose osteosarcoma showed good histologic response (good response) to induction chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
At diagnosis, patients age ≤ 40 years with resectable high-grade osteosarcoma were registered. Eligibility after surgery for good response random assignment included ≥ two cycles of preoperative MAP (methotrexate, doxorubicin, and cisplatin), macroscopically complete surgery of primary tumor, < 10% viable tumor, and no disease progression. These patients were randomly assigned to four additional cycles MAP with or without IFN-α-2b (0.5 to 1.0 μg/kg per week subcutaneously, after chemotherapy until 2 years postregistration). Outcome measures were event-free survival (EFS; primary) and overall survival and toxicity (secondary).
Results
Good response was reported in 1,041 of 2,260 registered patients; 716 consented to random assignment (MAP, n = 359; MAP plus IFN-α-2b, n = 357), with baseline characteristics balanced by arm. A total of 271 of 357 started IFN-α-2b; 105 stopped early, and 38 continued to receive treatment at data freeze. Refusal and toxicity were the main reasons for never starting IFN-α-2b and for stopping prematurely, respectively. Median IFN-α-2b duration, if started, was 67 weeks. A total of 133 of 268 patients who started IFN-α-2b and provided toxicity information reported grade ≥ 3 toxicity during IFN-α-2b treatment. With median follow-up of 44 months, 3-year EFS for all 716 randomly assigned patients was 76% (95% CI, 72% to 79%); 174 EFS events were reported (MAP, n = 93; MAP plus IFN-α-2b, n = 81). Hazard ratio was 0.83 (95% CI, 0.61 to 1.12; P = .214) from an adjusted Cox model.
Conclusion
At the preplanned analysis time, MAP plus IFN-α-2b was not statistically different from MAP alone. A considerable proportion of patients never started IFN-α-2b or stopped prematurely. Long-term follow-up for events and survival continues.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.60.0734
PMCID: PMC4486345  PMID: 26033801
9.  Best practice for analysis of shared clinical trial data 
BMC Medical Research Methodology  2016;16(Suppl 1):76.
Background
Greater transparency, including sharing of patient-level data for further research, is an increasingly important topic for organisations who sponsor, fund and conduct clinical trials. This is a major paradigm shift with the aim of maximising the value of patient-level data from clinical trials for the benefit of future patients and society. We consider the analysis of shared clinical trial data in three broad categories: (1) reanalysis - further investigation of the efficacy and safety of the randomized intervention, (2) meta-analysis, and (3) supplemental analysis for a research question that is not directly assessing the randomized intervention.
Discussion
In order to support appropriate interpretation and limit the risk of misleading findings, analysis of shared clinical trial data should have a pre-specified analysis plan. However, it is not generally possible to limit bias and control multiplicity to the extent that is possible in the original trial design, conduct and analysis, and this should be acknowledged and taken into account when interpreting results. We highlight a number of areas where specific considerations arise in planning, conducting, interpreting and reporting analyses of shared clinical trial data. A key issue is that that these analyses essentially share many of the limitations of any post hoc analyses beyond the original specified analyses. The use of individual patient data in meta-analysis can provide increased precision and reduce bias. Supplemental analyses are subject to many of the same issues that arise in broader epidemiological analyses. Specific discussion topics are addressed within each of these areas.
Summary
Increased provision of patient-level data from industry and academic-led clinical trials for secondary research can benefit future patients and society. Responsible data sharing, including transparency of the research objectives, analysis plans and of the results will support appropriate interpretation and help to address the risk of misleading results and avoid unfounded health scares.
doi:10.1186/s12874-016-0170-y
PMCID: PMC4943488  PMID: 27410240
10.  What are the roles and valued attributes of a Trial Steering Committee? Ethnographic study of eight clinical trials facing challenges 
Trials  2016;17:307.
Background
Clinical trials oversight by a Trial Steering Committee (TSC) is mandated by Good Clinical Practice. This study used qualitative methods to explore the role and valued attributes of the TSC to inform planned updates of Medical Research Council guidance and TSC terms of reference.
Methods
An ethnographic study was conducted during 2013–2014. TSC and Trial Management Group meetings from eight trials were observed and audio-recorded, and semi-structured interviews conducted with purposively sampled key informants: independent and non-independent TSC members, trial sponsor representatives, funder representatives and chief investigators. The selected trials were currently recruiting and dealing with challenging scenarios. Data were analysed thematically and findings triangulated and integrated to give a multi-perspective account of the role and valued attributes of a TSC.
Results
Eight TSC meetings and six Trial Management Group meetings were observed. Sixty-five interviews were conducted with 51 informants. The two main roles played by the TSC were quality assurance and patient advocacy. Quality assurance involved being a ‘critical friend’ or a provider of ‘tough love’. Factors influencing the ability of the TSC to fulfil this role included the TSC Chair, other independent TSC members and the model of the TSC and its fit with the trial subject. The role of the TSC as an advocate for patient well-being was perceived as paramount. Two attributes of TSC members emerged as critical: experience (of running a trial, trial oversight or in a clinical/methodological area) and independence. While independence was valued for giving impartiality, the lack of consensus about its definition and strict requirements of some funders made it difficult to operationalise.
Conclusions
We found tensions and ambiguities in the roles expected of TSCs and the attributes valued of TSC members. In particular, the requirements of independence and experience could conflict, impacting the TSCs’ quality assurance role. Concerns were raised regarding whose interests are served by funders’ criteria of independence; in particular, funders’ selection of TSC members was thought to potentially inhibit TSCs’ ability to fulfil their patient advocacy role. These findings should be incorporated in revising guidance and terms of reference for TSCs.
doi:10.1186/s13063-016-1425-y
PMCID: PMC4930562  PMID: 27369866
Randomised trials; Good clinical practice; Terms of reference; Trial Steering Committees; Trial monitoring
11.  Failure-Free Survival and Radiotherapy in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer 
JAMA oncology  2016;2(3):348-357.
IMPORTANCE
The natural history of patients with newly diagnosed high-risk nonmetastatic (M0) prostate cancer receiving hormone therapy (HT) either alone or with standard-of-care radiotherapy (RT) is not well documented. Furthermore, no clinical trial has assessed the role of RT in patients with node-positive (N+) M0 disease. The STAMPEDE Trial includes such individuals, allowing an exploratory multivariate analysis of the impact of radical RT.
OBJECTIVE
To describe survival and the impact on failure-free survival of RT by nodal involvement in these patients.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Cohort study using data collected for patients allocated to the control arm (standard-of-care only) of the STAMPEDE Trial between October 5, 2005, and May 1, 2014. Outcomes are presented as hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs derived from adjusted Cox models; survival estimates are reported at 2 and 5 years. Participants were high-risk, hormone-naive patients with newly diagnosed M0 prostate cancer starting long-term HT for the first time. Radiotherapy is encouraged in this group, but mandated for patients with node-negative (N0) M0 disease only since November 2011.
EXPOSURES
Long-term HT either alone or with RT, as per local standard. Planned RT use was recorded at entry.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Failure-free survival (FFS) and overall survival.
RESULTS
A total of 721 men with newly diagnosed M0 disease were included: median age at entry, 66 (interquartile range [IQR], 61-72) years, median (IQR) prostate-specific antigen level of 43 (18-88) ng/mL. There were 40 deaths (31 owing to prostate cancer) with 17 months’ median follow-up. Two-year survival was 96% (95% CI, 93%-97%) and 2-year FFS, 77% (95% CI, 73%-81%). Median (IQR) FFS was 63 (26 to not reached) months. Time to FFS was worse in patients with N+ disease (HR, 2.02 [95% CI, 1.46-2.81]) than in those with N0 disease. Failure-free survival outcomes favored planned use of RT for patients with both N0M0 (HR, 0.33 [95% CI, 0.18-0.61]) and N+M0 disease (HR, 0.48 [95% CI, 0.29-0.79]).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Survival for men entering the cohort with high-risk M0 disease was higher than anticipated at study inception. These nonrandomized data were consistent with previous trials that support routine use of RT with HT in patients with N0M0 disease. Additionally, the data suggest that the benefits of RT extend to men with N+M0 disease.
TRIAL REGISTRATION
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00268476; ISRCTN78818544
doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.4350
PMCID: PMC4789485  PMID: 26606329
12.  Addition of docetaxel or bisphosphonates to standard of care in men with localised or metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analyses of aggregate data 
The Lancet. Oncology  2016;17(2):243-256.
Summary
Background
Results from large randomised controlled trials combining docetaxel or bisphosphonates with standard of care in hormone-sensitive prostate cancer have emerged. In order to investigate the effects of these therapies and to respond to emerging evidence, we aimed to systematically review all relevant trials using a framework for adaptive meta-analysis.
Methods
For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, trial registers, conference proceedings, review articles, and reference lists of trial publications for all relevant randomised controlled trials (published, unpublished, and ongoing) comparing either standard of care with or without docetaxel or standard of care with or without bisphosphonates for men with high-risk localised or metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. For each trial, we extracted hazard ratios (HRs) of the effects of docetaxel or bisphosphonates on survival (time from randomisation until death from any cause) and failure-free survival (time from randomisation to biochemical or clinical failure or death from any cause) from published trial reports or presentations or obtained them directly from trial investigators. HRs were combined using the fixed-effect model (Mantel-Haenzsel).
Findings
We identified five eligible randomised controlled trials of docetaxel in men with metastatic (M1) disease. Results from three (CHAARTED, GETUG-15, STAMPEDE) of these trials (2992 [93%] of 3206 men randomised) showed that the addition of docetaxel to standard of care improved survival. The HR of 0·77 (95% CI 0·68–0·87; p<0·0001) translates to an absolute improvement in 4-year survival of 9% (95% CI 5–14). Docetaxel in addition to standard of care also improved failure-free survival, with the HR of 0·64 (0·58–0·70; p<0·0001) translating into a reduction in absolute 4-year failure rates of 16% (95% CI 12–19). We identified 11 trials of docetaxel for men with locally advanced disease (M0). Survival results from three (GETUG-12, RTOG 0521, STAMPEDE) of these trials (2121 [53%] of 3978 men) showed no evidence of a benefit from the addition of docetaxel (HR 0·87 [95% CI 0·69–1·09]; p=0·218), whereas failure-free survival data from four (GETUG-12, RTOG 0521, STAMPEDE, TAX 3501) of these trials (2348 [59%] of 3978 men) showed that docetaxel improved failure-free survival (0·70 [0·61–0·81]; p<0·0001), which translates into a reduced absolute 4-year failure rate of 8% (5–10). We identified seven eligible randomised controlled trials of bisphosphonates for men with M1 disease. Survival results from three of these trials (2740 [88%] of 3109 men) showed that addition of bisphosphonates improved survival (0·88 [0·79–0·98]; p=0·025), which translates to 5% (1–8) absolute improvement, but this result was influenced by the positive result of one trial of sodium clodronate, and we found no evidence of a benefit from the addition of zoledronic acid (0·94 [0·83–1·07]; p=0·323), which translates to an absolute improvement in survival of 2% (−3 to 7). Of 17 trials of bisphosphonates for men with M0 disease, survival results from four trials (4079 [66%] of 6220 men) showed no evidence of benefit from the addition of bisphosphonates (1·03 [0·89–1·18]; p=0·724) or zoledronic acid (0·98 [0·82–1·16]; p=0·782). Failure-free survival definitions were too inconsistent for formal meta-analyses for the bisphosphonate trials.
Interpretation
The addition of docetaxel to standard of care should be considered standard care for men with M1 hormone-sensitive prostate cancer who are starting treatment for the first time. More evidence on the effects of docetaxel on survival is needed in the M0 disease setting. No evidence exists to suggest that zoledronic acid improves survival in men with M1 or M0 disease, and any potential benefit is probably small.
Funding
Medical Research Council UK.
doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00489-1
PMCID: PMC4737894  PMID: 26718929
13.  Final Report of the Intergroup Randomized Study of Combined Androgen-Deprivation Therapy Plus Radiotherapy Versus Androgen-Deprivation Therapy Alone in Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2015;33(19):2143-2150.
Purpose
We have previously reported that radiotherapy (RT) added to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) improves survival in men with locally advanced prostate cancer. Here, we report the prespecified final analysis of this randomized trial.
Patients and Methods
NCIC Clinical Trials Group PR.3/Medical Research Council PR07/Intergroup T94-0110 was a randomized controlled trial of patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. Patients with T3-4, N0/Nx, M0 prostate cancer or T1-2 disease with either prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of more than 40 μg/L or PSA of 20 to 40 μg/L plus Gleason score of 8 to 10 were randomly assigned to lifelong ADT alone or to ADT+RT. The RT dose was 64 to 69 Gy in 35 to 39 fractions to the prostate and pelvis or prostate alone. Overall survival was compared using a log-rank test stratified for prespecified variables.
Results
One thousand two hundred five patients were randomly assigned between 1995 and 2005, 602 to ADT alone and 603 to ADT+RT. At a median follow-up time of 8 years, 465 patients had died, including 199 patients from prostate cancer. Overall survival was significantly improved in the patients allocated to ADT+RT (hazard ratio [HR], 0.70; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.85; P < .001). Deaths from prostate cancer were significantly reduced by the addition of RT to ADT (HR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.61; P < .001). Patients on ADT+RT reported a higher frequency of adverse events related to bowel toxicity, but only two of 589 patients had grade 3 or greater diarrhea at 24 months after RT.
Conclusion
This analysis demonstrates that the previously reported benefit in survival is maintained at a median follow-up of 8 years and firmly establishes the role of RT in the treatment of men with locally advanced prostate cancer.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.57.7510
PMCID: PMC4477786  PMID: 25691677
14.  Systemic therapy for vulval Erosive Lichen Planus (the ‘hELP’ trial): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2016;17:2.
Background
Erosive lichen planus affecting the vulva (ELPV) is a relatively rare, chronic condition causing painful raw areas in the vulvovaginal region. Symptoms are pain and burning, which impact upon daily living. There is paucity of evidence regarding therapy. A 2012 Cochrane systematic review found no randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in this field. Topically administered corticosteroids are the accepted first-line therapy: however, there is uncertainty as to which second-line treatments to use. Several systemic agents have been clinically noted to show promise for ELPV refractory to topically administered corticosteroids but there is no RCT evidence to support these. The ‘hELP’ study is a RCT with an internal pilot phase designed to provide high-quality evidence.
Methods/Design
The objective is to test whether systemic therapy in addition to standard topical therapy is a beneficial second-line treatment for ELPV. Adjunctive systemic therapies used are hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisolone. Topical therapy plus a short course of prednisolone given orally is considered the comparator intervention. The trial is a four-armed, open-label, pragmatic RCT which uses a blinded independent clinical assessor. To provide 80 % power for each comparison, 96 participants are required in total. The pilot phase aims to recruit 40 participants.
The primary clinical outcome is the proportion of patients achieving treatment success at 6 months. ‘Success’ is defined by a composite measure of Patient Global Assessment score of 0 or 1 on a 4-point scale plus improvement from baseline on clinical photographs scored by a clinician blinded to treatment allocation. Secondary clinical outcomes include 6-month assessment of: (1) Reduction in pain/soreness; (2) Global assessment of disease; (3) Response at other affected mucosal sites; (4) Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores; (5) Sexual function; (6) Health-related quality of life using ‘Short Form 36’ and ‘Skindex-29’ questionnaires; (7) Days of topical steroid use; (8) Treatment satisfaction; (9) Discontinuation of medications due to treatment failure; (10) Per participant cost of intervention in each treatment group. Adverse events will also be reported.
Discussion
‘hELP’ is the first RCT to address second-line treatment of ELPV. The trial has encountered unique methodological challenges and has required collaborative efforts of the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network alongside expert clinicians.
Trial registration: current controlled trials
ISRCTN 81883379. Date of registration 12 June 2014.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13063-015-1133-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13063-015-1133-z
PMCID: PMC4698814  PMID: 26729245
Multi-armed; Randomised controlled trial; Pragmatic; Open-label; Pilot; Dermatology; Vulval; Erosive lichen planus; Therapy
16.  Clinical trial designs for rare diseases: Studies developed and discussed by the International Rare Cancers Initiative 
Background
The past three decades have seen rapid improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of most cancers and the most important contributor has been research. Progress in rare cancers has been slower, not least because of the challenges of undertaking research.
Settings
The International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI) is a partnership which aims to stimulate and facilitate the development of international clinical trials for patients with rare cancers. It is focused on interventional – usually randomised – clinical trials with the clear goal of improving outcomes for patients. The key challenges are organisational and methodological. A multi-disciplinary workshop to review the methods used in ICRI portfolio trials was held in Amsterdam in September 2013. Other as-yet unrealised methods were also discussed.
Results
The IRCI trials are each presented to exemplify possible approaches to designing credible trials in rare cancers. Researchers may consider these for use in future trials and understand the choices made for each design.
Interpretation
Trials can be designed using a wide array of possibilities. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. In order to make progress in the rare diseases, decisions to change practice will have to be based on less direct evidence from clinical trials than in more common diseases.
doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.10.027
PMCID: PMC4639696  PMID: 25542058
Rare cancers; Clinical trials; Randomised controlled; trials; Methodology; Frequentist; Bayesian; Multi-arm
17.  Sharing data from clinical trials: the rationale for a controlled access approach 
Trials  2015;16:104.
Background
The move towards increased transparency around clinical trials is welcome. Much focus has been on under-reporting of trials and access to individual patient data to allow independent verification of findings. There are many other good reasons for data sharing from clinical trials. We describe some key issues in data sharing, including the challenges of open access to data. These include issues in consent and disclosure; risks in identification, including self-identification; risks in distorting data to prevent self-identification; and risks in analysis. These risks have led us to develop a controlled access policy, which safeguards the rights of patients entered in our trials, guards the intellectual property rights of the original researchers who designed the trial and collected the data, provides a barrier against unnecessary duplication, and ensures that researchers have the necessary resources and skills to analyse the data.
Methods
We briefly discuss the practicalities of our current approach to data sharing, including ensuring that data are discoverable and how to deal with old studies. We describe data sharing activities at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit.
Results
One hundred and three data sharing activities were logged from 2012 to 2014 from external and internal applicants. The motivations are varied, but none have been for replication of the primary results.
Conclusions
For any request to share data, we note the important role of independent reviewers as well as reviewers who know the study well, and present some of the key questions that all reviewers should ask when deciding whether a request is reasonable. We consider the responsibilities of all parties. We highlight the potential for opportunity costs. Clinical trial data should be shared for reasonable requests but there are many practical issues that must be explicitly considered.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0604-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0604-6
PMCID: PMC4369803  PMID: 25872927
18.  Clinical trial designs for rare diseases: Studies developed and discussed by the International Rare Cancers Initiative 
European Journal of Cancer  2015;51(3):271-281.
Background
The past three decades have seen rapid improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of most cancers and the most important contributor has been research. Progress in rare cancers has been slower, not least because of the challenges of undertaking research.
Settings
The International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI) is a partnership which aims to stimulate and facilitate the development of international clinical trials for patients with rare cancers. It is focused on interventional – usually randomised – clinical trials with the clear goal of improving outcomes for patients. The key challenges are organisational and methodological. A multi-disciplinary workshop to review the methods used in ICRI portfolio trials was held in Amsterdam in September 2013. Other as-yet unrealised methods were also discussed.
Results
The IRCI trials are each presented to exemplify possible approaches to designing credible trials in rare cancers. Researchers may consider these for use in future trials and understand the choices made for each design.
Interpretation
Trials can be designed using a wide array of possibilities. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. In order to make progress in the rare diseases, decisions to change practice will have to be based on less direct evidence from clinical trials than in more common diseases.
doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.10.027
PMCID: PMC4639696  PMID: 25542058
Rare cancers; Clinical trials; Randomised controlled trials; Methodology; Frequentist; Bayesian; Multi-arm
19.  Celecoxib plus hormone therapy versus hormone therapy alone for hormone-sensitive prostate cancer: first results from the STAMPEDE multiarm, multistage, randomised controlled trial 
The Lancet Oncology  2012;13(5):549-558.
Summary
Background
Long-term hormone therapy alone is standard care for metastatic or high-risk, non-metastatic prostate cancer. STAMPEDE—an international, open-label, randomised controlled trial—uses a novel multiarm, multistage design to assess whether the early additional use of one or two drugs (docetaxel, zoledronic acid, celecoxib, zoledronic acid and docetaxel, or zoledronic acid and celecoxib) improves survival in men starting first-line, long-term hormone therapy. Here, we report the preplanned, second intermediate analysis comparing hormone therapy plus celecoxib (arm D) with hormone therapy alone (control arm A).
Methods
Eligible patients were men with newly diagnosed or rapidly relapsing prostate cancer who were starting long-term hormone therapy for the first time. Hormone therapy was given as standard care in all trial arms, with local radiotherapy encouraged for newly diagnosed patients without distant metastasis. Randomisation was done using minimisation with a random element across seven stratification factors. Patients randomly allocated to arm D received celecoxib 400 mg twice daily, given orally, until 1 year or disease progression (including prostate-specific antigen [PSA] failure). The intermediate outcome was failure-free survival (FFS) in three activity stages; the primary outcome was overall survival in a subsequent efficacy stage. Research arms were compared pairwise against the control arm on an intention-to-treat basis. Accrual of further patients was discontinued in any research arm showing safety concerns or insufficient evidence of activity (lack of benefit) compared with the control arm. The minimum targeted activity at the second intermediate activity stage was a hazard ratio (HR) of 0·92. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00268476, and with Current Controlled Trials, number ISRCTN78818544.
Findings
2043 patients were enrolled in the trial from Oct 17, 2005, to Jan 31, 2011, of whom 584 were randomly allocated to receive hormone therapy alone (control group; arm A) and 291 to receive hormone therapy plus celecoxib (arm D). At the preplanned analysis of the second intermediate activity stage, with 305 FFS events (209 in arm A, 96 in arm D), there was no evidence of an advantage for hormone therapy plus celecoxib over hormone therapy alone: HR 0·98 (95% CI 0·90–1·06). 2-year FFS was 51% (95% CI 46–56) in arm A and 51% (95% CI 43–58) in arm D. There was no evidence of differences in the incidence of adverse events between groups (events of grade 3 or higher were noted at any time in 123 [23%, 95% CI 20–27] patients in arm A and 64 [25%, 19–30] in arm D). The most common grade 3–5 events adverse effects in both groups were endocrine disorders (55 [11%] of patients in arm A vs 19 [7%] in arm D) and musculoskeletal disorders (30 [6%] of patients in arm A vs 15 [6%] in arm D). The independent data monitoring committee recommended stopping accrual to both celecoxib-containing arms on grounds of lack of benefit and discontinuing celecoxib for patients currently on treatment, which was endorsed by the trial steering committee.
Interpretation
Celecoxib 400 mg twice daily for up to 1 year is insufficiently active in patients starting hormone therapy for high-risk prostate cancer, and we do not recommend its use in this setting. Accrual continues seamlessly to the other research arms and follow-up of all arms will continue to assess effects on overall survival.
Funding
Cancer Research UK, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Medical Research Council (London, UK).
doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70088-8
PMCID: PMC3398767  PMID: 22452894
20.  Late Gastrointestinal Toxicity After Dose-Escalated Conformal Radiotherapy for Early Prostate Cancer: Results From the UK Medical Research Council RT01 Trial (ISRCTN47772397) 
Purpose
In men with localized prostate cancer, dose-escalated conformal radiotherapy (CFRT) improves efficacy outcomes at the cost of increased toxicity. We present a detailed analysis to provide further information about the incidence and prevalence of late gastrointestinal side effects.
Methods and Materials
The UK Medical Research Council RT01 trial included 843 men with localized prostate cancer, who were treated for 6 months with neoadjuvant radiotherapy and were randomly assigned to either 64-Gy or 74-Gy CFRT. Toxicity was evaluated before CFRT and during long-term follow-up using Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) grading, the Late Effects on Normal Tissue: Subjective, Objective, Management (LENT/SOM) scale, and Royal Marsden Hospital assessment scores. Patients regularly completed Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy--Prostate (FACT-P) and University of California, Los Angeles, Prostate Cancer Index (UCLA-PCI) questionnaires.
Results
In the dose-escalated group, the hazard ratio (HR) for rectal bleeding (LENT/SOM grade ≥2) was 1.55 (95% CI, 1.17–2.04); for diarrhea (LENT/SOM grade ≥2), the HR was 1.79 (95% CI, 1.10–2.94); and for proctitis (RTOG grade ≥2), the HR was 1.64 (95% CI, 1.20–2.25). Compared to baseline scores, the prevalence of moderate and severe toxicities generally increased up to 3 years and than lessened. At 5 years, the cumulative incidence of patient-reported severe bowel problems was 6% vs. 8% (standard vs. escalated, respectively) and severe distress was 4% vs. 5%, respectively.
Conclusions
There is a statistically significant increased risk of various adverse gastrointestinal events with dose-escalated CFRT. This remains at clinically acceptable levels, and overall prevalence ultimately decreases with duration of follow-up.
doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.05.052
PMCID: PMC2937212  PMID: 19836155
Prostate cancer; Conformal radiotherapy; Dose escalation; Late gastrointestinal toxicity; Phase III trial
22.  The need for a cultural shift from two-arm to multi-arm RCTS 
Trials  2013;14(Suppl 1):O3.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-S1-O3
PMCID: PMC3981643
23.  Flexible trial design in practice - stopping arms for lack-of-benefit and adding research arms mid-trial in STAMPEDE: a multi-arm multi-stage randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:168.
Background
Systemic Therapy for Advanced or Metastatic Prostate cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy (STAMPEDE) is a randomized controlled trial that follows a novel multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS) design. We describe methodological and practical issues arising with (1) stopping recruitment to research arms following a pre-planned intermediate analysis and (2) adding a new research arm during the trial.
Methods
STAMPEDE recruits men who have locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer who are starting standard long-term hormone therapy. Originally there were five research and one control arms, each undergoing a pilot stage (focus: safety, feasibility), three intermediate ‘activity’ stages (focus: failure-free survival), and a final ‘efficacy’ stage (focus: overall survival). Lack-of-sufficient-activity guidelines support the pairwise interim comparisons of each research arm against the control arm; these pre-defined activity cut-off becomes increasingly stringent over the stages. Accrual of further patients continues to the control arm and to those research arms showing activity and an acceptable safety profile. The design facilitates adding new research arms should sufficiently interesting agents emerge. These new arms are compared only to contemporaneously recruited control arm patients using the same intermediate guidelines in a time-delayed manner. The addition of new research arms is subject to adequate recruitment rates to support the overall trial aims.
Results
(1) Stopping Existing Therapy: After the second intermediate activity analysis, recruitment was discontinued to two research arms for lack-of-sufficient activity. Detailed preparations meant that changes were implemented swiftly at 100 international centers and recruitment continued seamlessly into Activity Stage III with 3 remaining research arms and the control arm. Further regulatory and ethical approvals were not required because this was already included in the initial trial design.
(2) Adding New Therapy: An application to add a new research arm was approved by the funder, (who also organized peer review), industrial partner and regulatory and ethical bodies. This was all done in advance of any decision to stop current therapies.
Conclusions
The STAMPEDE experience shows that recruitment to a MAMS trial and mid-flow changes its design are achievable with good planning. This benefits patients and the scientific community as research treatments are evaluated in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
Trial registration
ISRCTN78818544, NCT00268476
First patient into trial: 17 October 2005
First patient into abiraterone comparison: 15 November 2011
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-168
PMCID: PMC3466132  PMID: 22978443
Novel design; Multi-arm multi-stage design; Implementation; Prostate cancer; Methodology; Randomized controlled trial
24.  Presence of chemotherapy-induced toxicity predicts improved survival in patients with localised extremity osteosarcoma treated with doxorubicin and cisplatin: A report from the European Osteosarcoma Intergroup 
European Journal of Cancer  2012;48(5):703-712.
Aim
Chemotherapy-induced toxicity is an independent prognostic indicator in several cancers. We aimed to determine whether toxicity was related to survival and histological response in high-grade localised extremity osteosarcoma. We undertook a retrospective analysis of patients treated within three consecutive randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of the European Osteosarcoma Intergroup.
Methods
Between 1982 and 2002, 533 patients were randomised to six cycles of doxorubicin 75 mg/m2 and cisplatin 100 mg/m2. Toxicity data were collected prospectively and graded according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria. Standard univariate and multivariate models were constructed to examine the relationship between reported toxicity, survival, and histological response.
Results
Five- and 10-year overall survival was 57% (95% confidence interval (CI) 52–61%) and 53% (49–58%), respectively. Grades 3–4 oral mucositis (hazard ratio (HR) 0.51, 95% CI 0.29–0.91), grades 1–2 nausea/vomiting (HR 0.37, 95% CI 0.16–0.85), grades 1–2 thrombocytopenia (HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.27–0.87), good histological response (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.27–0.65), and distal tumour site (HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.28–0.71) were associated with improved survival in multivariate analysis. The only factors that were independently associated with histological response were older age (odds ratio (OR) 0.18, 95% CI 0.04–0.72) and chondroblastic tumour (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.10–0.77), both being associated with a significantly lower chance of achieving a good response.
Conclusion
Chemotherapy-induced toxicity predicts survival in patients with localised extremity osteosarcoma. Investigation of the pharmacogenomic mechanisms of constitutional chemosensitivity underlying these observations will present opportunities for personalising treatment and could lead to improved outcomes.
doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2011.09.012
PMCID: PMC3657154  PMID: 22036088
Osteosarcoma; Toxicity; Survival; Chemotherapy
25.  Combined androgen deprivation therapy and radiation therapy for locally advanced prostate cancer: a randomised, phase 3 trial 
Lancet  2011;378(9809):2104-2111.
Summary
Background
Whether the addition of radiation therapy (RT) improves overall survival in men with locally advanced prostate cancer managed with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is unclear. Our aim was to compare outcomes in such patients with locally advanced prostate cancer.
Methods
Patients with: locally advanced (T3 or T4) prostate cancer (n=1057); or organ-confined disease (T2) with either a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration more than 40 ng/mL (n=119) or PSA concentration more than 20 ng/mL and a Gleason score of 8 or higher (n=25), were randomly assigned (done centrally with stratification and dynamic minimisation, not masked) to receive lifelong ADT and RT (65–69 Gy to the prostate and seminal vesicles, 45 Gy to the pelvic nodes). The primary endpoint was overall survival. The results presented here are of an interim analysis planned for when two-thirds of the events for the final analysis were recorded. All efficacy analyses were done by intention to treat and were based on data from all patients. This trial is registered at controlledtrials.com as ISRCTN24991896 and Clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00002633.
Results
Between 1995 and 2005, 1205 patients were randomly assigned (602 in the ADT only group and 603 in the ADT and RT group); median follow-up was 6·0 years (IQR 4·4–8·0). At the time of analysis, a total of 320 patients had died, 175 in the ADT only group and 145 in the ADT and RT group. The addition of RT to ADT improved overall survival at 7 years (74%, 95% CI 70–78 vs 66%, 60–70; hazard ratio [HR] 0·77, 95% CI 0·61–0·98, p=0·033). Both toxicity and health-related quality-of-life results showed a small effect of RT on late gastrointestinal toxicity (rectal bleeding grade >3, three patients (0·5%) in the ADT only group, two (0·3%) in the ADT and RT group; diarrhoea grade >3, four patients (0·7%) vs eight (1·3%); urinary toxicity grade >3, 14 patients (2·3%) in both groups).
Interpretation
The benefits of combined modality treatment—ADT and RT—should be discussed with all patients with locally advanced prostate cancer.
Funding
Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, US National Cancer Institute, and UK Medical Research Council.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61095-7
PMCID: PMC3243932  PMID: 22056152

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