Drug development in oncology is undergoing several changes brought about by precision medicine, which makes it appealing to move efficacy assessment to earlier-phase trials and questions the need for randomized trials. Indeed, some remarkably efficacious drugs have even been approved based on uncontrolled phase I or II trials.
With very few exceptions, we challenge the view that the expected benefits from new drugs are generally sufficient to forgo randomization to a standard-of-care arm. Apparently improved outcomes in a single-arm early trial may be due at least in part to the prognostic nature of the target and to selection bias, rather than result from a true effect of therapy. Moreover, the predictive role of biomarkers cannot be ascertained in a definitive way without randomization to a control arm.
On the other hand, randomization often raises scientific, ethical and economic issues when precision medicine is understood in a very strict sense, according to which each tumor presents a unique molecular landscape in a manner that precludes the formation of groups of patients with a similar disease.
The challenge for the scientific community moving forward will be to strike the right balance between eliciting high-level evidence, such as that originating from randomized trials, and leveraging the full potential of precision medicine.
Date: Thursday, 26th of August 2021
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 CEST
|9:50||Online platform opens for registering participants|
David Munis Zepernick, Head of Business Development and Public Affairs, Medicon Valley Alliance
|10:05||Randomization and the limits of precision oncology|
Everardo Saad, Medical Director, IDDI
|11:00||End of webinar|
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