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Tumor response may not be best measure of efficacy in non-small cell lung cancer treatment

Researchers typically evaluate the effectiveness of a new cancer treatment by looking at how tumors respond to it. But in the case of advanced non-small cell lung cancer, there may be a better way to assess effectiveness.

A new Southwest Oncology Group study led by a team of UC Davis Cancer Center researchers suggests that an alternative measurement "disease control rate" may be a more powerful predictor of survival than tumor shrinkage. The research was presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta.

"If validated, this 'early look' statistical measure could enhance efficacy assessment, with broad implications for the design of future cancer clinical trials for advanced non-small cell lung cancer," said Primo N. Lara, Jr., associate professor of hematology and oncology at UC Davis Cancer Center and lead author of the new study.

Lara and his colleagues defined the disease control rate as the percentage of patients who have a partial or complete response to an investigational treatment plus those whose disease stabilizes.

"In the past, we have used the complete response rate plus the partial response rate, or CR + PR, as our sole efficacy measure," Lara said. "The disease control rate, DCR, is the complete response rate plus the partial response rate plus the rate of patients with stabilized disease, or DCR = CR + PR + SD. This measure may better predict how a new drug will affect survival."

In their study, the investigators pooled data from 984 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who participated in three randomized SWOG trials of platinum-based chemotherapy regimens.

Of the 886 patients who were alive two months after beginning treatment, 62 percent had stable disease, meaning their cancer had not progressed since entering the clinical trial. Another 19 percent had a complete or partial response, meaning their tumors had disappeared or reduced in size. Ad
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Contact: Claudia Morain
claudia.morain@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9023
University of California, Davis - Health System
5-Jun-2006


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