Rachel Woodford, Deborah Zhou, Peey-Sei Kok, Sally J. Lord, Michael Friedlander, Ian Marschner, R. John Simes, Chee Khoon Lee

Validity and Efficiency of Progression-Free Survival-2 as a Surrogate End Point for Overall Survival in Advanced Cancer Randomized Trials

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

PURPOSE Progression-free survival (PFS)-2, defined as the time from randomization to progression on second-line therapy, is potentially a more reliable surrogate than PFS for overall survival (OS), but will require longer follow-up and a larger sample size. We sought to compare the validity and efficiency, defined as proportional increase in follow-up time and sample size, of PFS-2 to PFS. METHODS We performed an electronic search to identify randomized trials of advanced solid tumors reporting PFS, PFS-2, and OS as prespecified end points. Only studies that had protocols that defined measurement of PFS-2 and follow-up for patients after first disease progression were included. We compared correlations in the relative treatment effect for OS with PFS and PFS-2. We reconstructed individual patient data from survival curves to estimate time to statistical significance (TSS) of the relative treatment effect. We further computed the sample size (person-year [PY] follow-up) required to reach statistical significance. RESULTS Across the 42 analysis units and 21,255 patients, the correlation of the relative treatment effect between OS and PFS-2, r, was 0.70 (95% CI, 0.41 to 0.80) and r = 0.46 (95% CI, 0.26 to 0.74) for OS and PFS. The median differences in TSS between OS with PFS, OS with PFS-2, and PFS with PFS-2 were 16.59 (95% CI, 4.48 to not reached [NR]), 10.0 (95% CI, 2.2 to NR), and 4.31 (95% CI, 2.92 to 13.13) months, respectively. The median difference in PYs required to reach statistical significance for PFS-2 over PFS was 156 (95% CI, 82 to 500) PYs, equivalent to an estimated median 12.7% increase in PYs. CONCLUSION PFS-2 offers improved correlation with OS than PFS with a modest increase in follow-up time and sample size. PFS-2 should be considered as a primary end point in future trials of advanced cancers.

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