Tumor growth rates derived from data for patients in a clinical trial correlate strongly with patient survival: A novel strategy for evaluation of clinical trial data

Wilfred D. Stein, William Doug Figg, William Dahut, Aryeh D. Stein, Moshe B. Hoshen, Doug Price, Susan E. Bates, Tito Fojo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose. The slow progress in developing new cancer therapies can be attributed in part to the long time spent in clinical development. To hasten development, new paradigms especially applicable to patients with metastatic disease are needed. Patients and Methods. We present a new method to predict survival using tumor measurement data gathered while a patient with cancer is receiving therapy in a clinical trial. We developed a two-phase equation to estimate the concomitant rates of tumor regression (regression rate constant d) and tumor growth (growth rate constant g). Results. We evaluated the model against serial levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in 112 patients undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Survival was strongly correlated with the log of the growth rate constant, log(g) (Pearson r = -0.72) but not with the log of the regression rate constants, log(d) (r = -0.218). Values of log(g) exhibited a bimodal distribution. Patients with log(g) values above the median had a mortality hazard of 5.14 (95% confidence interval, 3.10-8.52) when compared with those with log(g) values below the median. Mathematically, the minimum PSA value (nadir) and the time to this minimum are determined by the kinetic parameters d and g, and can be viewed as surrogates. Conclusions. This mathematical model has applications to many tumor types and may aid in evaluating patient outcomes. Modeling tumor progression using data gathered while patients are on study, may help evaluate the ability of therapies to prolong survival and assist in drug development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1054
Number of pages9
JournalOncologist
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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