Overall response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival with targeted and standard therapies in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: US Food and Drug Administration trial-level and patient-level analyses

Gideon M Blumenthal, Stella W Karuri, Hui Zhang, Lijun Zhang, Sean Khozin, Dickran Kazandjian, Shenghui Tang, Rajeshwari Sridhara, Patricia Keegan, Richard Pazdur
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2015 March 20, 33 (9): 1008-14

PURPOSE: To conduct analyses exploring trial-level and patient-level associations between overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) trials.

METHODS: We identified 14 trials (N = 12,567) submitted to US Food and Drug Administration since 2003 of treatments for advanced NSCLC. Only randomized, active-controlled trials with more than 150 patients were included. Associations between trial-level PFS hazard ratio (HR), OS HR, and ORR odds ratio were analyzed using a weighted linear regression model. Patient-level responder analyses comparing PFS and OS between patients with and without an objective response were performed using pooled data from all studies.

RESULTS: In the trial-level analysis, the association between PFS and ORR was strong (R(2) = 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80 to 0.98). There was no association between OS and ORR (R(2) = 0.09; 95% CI, 0 to 0.33) and OS and PFS (R(2) = 0.08; 95% CI, 0 to 0.31). In the patient-level responder analyses, patients who achieved a response had better PFS and OS compared with nonresponders (PFS: HR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.42; OS: HR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.43).

CONCLUSION: On a trial level, there is a strong association between ORR and PFS. An association between ORR and OS and between PFS and OS was not established, possibly because of cross-over and longer survival after progression in the targeted therapy and first-line trials. The patient-level analysis showed that responders have a better PFS and OS compared with nonresponders. A therapy in advanced NSCLC with a large magnitude of effect on ORR may have a large PFS effect.

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