In cancer-drug development, a number of different end points have been used to establish efficacy and support regulatory approval, such as overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), and radiographic response rate. However, these traditional end points have important limitations. For example, in lung cancer clinical trials, evaluating overall survival end points is a protracted process and these end points are most reliable when crossover to the investigational therapy is not permitted. Furthermore, although radiographic surrogate end points, such as PFS and response rate, generally correlate with clinical benefit in the setting of cytotoxic chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapies, novel immunotherapies might have atypical response kinetics, which confounds radiographic interpretation. In this Review, we discuss the need to develop alternative or surrogate end points for lung cancer clinical trials, and focus on several new biomarkers that could serve as surrogate end points, including functional imaging biomarkers, circulating factors (tumour proteins, DNA, and cells), and pharmacodynamic tumour markers. By enabling the size, duration, and complexity of cancer trials to be reduced, biomarker end points hold the promise to accelerate drug development and improve patient outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nrclinonc.2014.222
View details for Web of Science ID 000350673000006
View details for PubMedID 25533947