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Is there a positive effect of participation on a clinical trial for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer?

Author(s): Rajappa S | Gundeti S | Uppalapati S | Jiwatani S | Abhyankar A | Pal C | Digumarti R

Journal: Indian Journal of Cancer
ISSN 0019-509X

Volume: 45;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 158;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Chemotherapy | experimental arm effect | lung cancer | survival | trial effect

Background: There is general belief that patients who enrolled on a clinical trial have better outcomes compared to those who are treated outside of a trial. We analyzed if there was a ′trial effect′ for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with chemotherapy. Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis of cohorts of patients with advanced NSCLC who received chemotherapy inside and outside of a clinical trial were analyzed for response rates (RR), progression free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), 1 and 2 year survival. Results: There were 194 patients who received chemotherapy of which, 54 were on a clinical trial and 140 outside of it. For the whole group, the RR, median PFS, OS, one and two-year survivals were 35.4%, six months (range, 2-70), seven months (range, 2-72), 29.8% and 9.7% respectively. The differences in RR and PFS of patients who were treated inside and outside of a clinical trial were not significant (P=0.6164, 0.0881). The differences in median OS and one-year survivals between the groups were significant (P=0.0052, 0.022). For the whole group, patients who received II line chemotherapy had better OS (P£0.0001). More patients in the trial group received II line chemotherapy (P=0.0004).The difference in the median OS between the groups continued to be significant even after patients who received II line chemotherapy were censored (P=0.0437). Conclusion: Patients with advanced NSCLC who were treated inside of a clinical trial had better OS compared to those who were treated outside of it.
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