Defining Success in Oncology
Drug Development
Richard Pazdur, MD
CDER, FDA
The views expressed are the results of independ...
Basis for NDA Approval
• Demonstration of efficacy with acceptable
safety in adequate and well-controlled
studies
• Abilit...
Regulatory Terms
• Accelerated Approval--serious or life-
threatening disease, benefit over available
therapy. Use of surr...
Activity vs. Benefit
• Biologic Activity--screening of a
compound, phase II trial endpoint, an
indication for further stud...
Should Oncology Drug
Regulation Be Different?
• Life-threatening nature of diseases--patient
access vs necessary data for ...
Should Oncology Drug
Regulation Be Different?
• Investigational nature of discipline--Cancer
Centers, Cooperative Groups, ...
Risks in Developing Oncology
Drugs
• Indication--lack of predictive models
• “Creative Indications”--progressively more
re...
Oncology Trial Concerns
• Minimize bias
– Blinding trials (few)
– Endpoints that minimize bias
– Internal consistency of s...
Endpoints for traditional
approval: Survival
• Defined as the time from randomization to
death
• Unambiguous endpoint that...
Traditional Endpoints: Survival
• Drawbacks
– Requires large sample size and long follow-up
– Confounder--Cross-over thera...
Traditional Endpoints: Survival
• Non-inferior or improved survival
constitutes “patient benefit” after
consideration of t...
Time to Progression--Advantages
• Could use a smaller sample size and shorter
follow-up than trials that require a surviva...
TTP: Problems
• Unblinded trials introduce bias
• Must evaluate all patients on a regular basis
– Must evaluate all sites ...
TTP: Problems
• How much improvement constitutes
benefit?
Response Rate
• Unique endpoint--treatment is “entirely”
responsible for tumor reduction
• In contrast, survival and TTP h...
Complicated Picture of RR
• Number of CRs vs PRs?
• Duration of responses?
• Location of responses (e.g., liver vs skin)?
...
Palliation and Patient Reported
Outcomes
• Blinding and associated antitumor effects
(response rates) lend credibility
– U...
Potential palliative endpoint:
Health-related quality of life
• Pro: Patient’s perspective on treatment
• Con:
– Blinding ...
Accelerated Approval- Subpart H
(21CFR 314)
• For serious or life-threatening diseases
• Where the drug appears to provide...
21CFR314 (continued)
• Subject to the requirement that the applicant
verify and describe benefit
• Post-marketing studies ...
Accelerated Approval
• Docetaxel (Taxotere)
• Irinotecan (Camptosar)
• Doxorubicin HCl liposome (Doxil--2 indications)
• C...
Issues Related to the AA
Program As a Whole
• The importance of confirmatory trials being
underway at the time of AA
• The...
Challenges for Oncology Drug
Regulations
• New “targeted therapies”
– Re-define definitions of diseases
– Greater efficacy...
Challenges
• Greater number of candidate drugs
– Careful selection of agents to demonstrate
clinical benefit by oncology c...
Endpoints and Challenges in Oncology Drug Regulation
Endpoints and Challenges in Oncology Drug Regulation
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Endpoints and Challenges in Oncology Drug Regulation

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Endpoints and Challenges in Oncology Drug Regulation

  1. 1. Defining Success in Oncology Drug Development Richard Pazdur, MD CDER, FDA The views expressed are the results of independent work and do not necessarily represent the views or findings of the United States Food and Drug Administration or the United States
  2. 2. Basis for NDA Approval • Demonstration of efficacy with acceptable safety in adequate and well-controlled studies • Ability to generate product labeling that – Defines an appropriate patient population – Provides adequate information to enable safe and effective use – Approval for an indication, not drug
  3. 3. Regulatory Terms • Accelerated Approval--serious or life- threatening disease, benefit over available therapy. Use of surrogate; mandated phase IV trials • Fast Track--life-threatening disease, potential to address unmet medical need. Rolling NDA, meetings • Priority review--drug would be a significant improvement compared to available drugs. Review of NDA in 6 months
  4. 4. Activity vs. Benefit • Biologic Activity--screening of a compound, phase II trial endpoint, an indication for further study • Clinical benefit--what is meaningful to a patient • The approval process is not a screening process for drug activity
  5. 5. Should Oncology Drug Regulation Be Different? • Life-threatening nature of diseases--patient access vs necessary data for approval • Drugs multiple action modes; combinations • Risk/benefit ratio--different perspective on serious adverse events; highly trained specialists using drugs rather than GP • Product label and off-label uses
  6. 6. Should Oncology Drug Regulation Be Different? • Investigational nature of discipline--Cancer Centers, Cooperative Groups, NCI • Wide variety of products used by oncologists--chemotherapy, biotherapy, devices, supportive care, diagnostics • Multidisciplinary approaches • Represents over 100 diseases/indications
  7. 7. Risks in Developing Oncology Drugs • Indication--lack of predictive models • “Creative Indications”--progressively more refractory patient, market share • Two trials versus one trial • Dose ranging studies--moving away from MTD
  8. 8. Oncology Trial Concerns • Minimize bias – Blinding trials (few) – Endpoints that minimize bias – Internal consistency of subgroups, endpoints • Magnitude of change of endpoint – Clinical significance – Underpowered trials--guessing treatment effect • Isolating effect of drug
  9. 9. Endpoints for traditional approval: Survival • Defined as the time from randomization to death • Unambiguous endpoint that is not subject to investigator interpretation or bias from unblinded studies • Assessed daily
  10. 10. Traditional Endpoints: Survival • Drawbacks – Requires large sample size and long follow-up – Confounder--Cross-over therapy may “wash out” a survival effect
  11. 11. Traditional Endpoints: Survival • Non-inferior or improved survival constitutes “patient benefit” after consideration of toxicity and the magnitude of the benefit • Non-inferior outcome ensures that a survival advantage associated with an approved drug will not be lost with a new agent
  12. 12. Time to Progression--Advantages • Could use a smaller sample size and shorter follow-up than trials that require a survival endpoint • Differences will not be obscured by secondary therapy if cross-over effect exists • “Time to symptomatic progression”
  13. 13. TTP: Problems • Unblinded trials introduce bias • Must evaluate all patients on a regular basis – Must evaluate all sites of possible disease – Complete ascertainment of all sites at baseline and follow-up (i.e., look for new sites) – Same type of assessment tool at each follow-up – Should use same evaluation schedule
  14. 14. TTP: Problems • How much improvement constitutes benefit?
  15. 15. Response Rate • Unique endpoint--treatment is “entirely” responsible for tumor reduction • In contrast, survival and TTP have an effect of the natural history PLUS treatment effect • Must consider duration of response • Does not include stable disease • Pick your criteria and stick with it
  16. 16. Complicated Picture of RR • Number of CRs vs PRs? • Duration of responses? • Location of responses (e.g., liver vs skin)? • Association with symptom improvement? • Extent or bulk of metastatic disease?
  17. 17. Palliation and Patient Reported Outcomes • Blinding and associated antitumor effects (response rates) lend credibility – Use simple instruments – Hypothesis-driven – Avoid multiple endpoints – Example: Photofrin PDT and dysphagia scale
  18. 18. Potential palliative endpoint: Health-related quality of life • Pro: Patient’s perspective on treatment • Con: – Blinding is essential, but difficult to do – Careful serial assessments • Missing data makes interpretation problematic • Multiple endpoints and comparisons to baseline must be adjusted for in the statistical analysis plan – Clinical significance of score changes may be unclear – Is additional information gained, compared to a careful recording of toxicity/symptom data?
  19. 19. Accelerated Approval- Subpart H (21CFR 314) • For serious or life-threatening diseases • Where the drug appears to provide benefit over available therapy • Approval based on a surrogate that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit
  20. 20. 21CFR314 (continued) • Subject to the requirement that the applicant verify and describe benefit • Post-marketing studies would usually be underway • The applicant shall carry out such studies with due diligence
  21. 21. Accelerated Approval • Docetaxel (Taxotere) • Irinotecan (Camptosar) • Doxorubicin HCl liposome (Doxil--2 indications) • Capecitabine (Xeloda) • Cytarabine liposomal injection (Depocyt) • Temozolomide (Temodar) • Amifostine (Ethyol)--sNDA • Celecoxib (Celebrex) • Gemtuzumab (Mylotarg) • Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) (STI 1571)
  22. 22. Issues Related to the AA Program As a Whole • The importance of confirmatory trials being underway at the time of AA • The approach of studying slightly different populations in the confirmatory setting than the AA population • Relative merits of different trial designs – single arm in refractory populations – randomized trials in less refractory patients
  23. 23. Challenges for Oncology Drug Regulations • New “targeted therapies” – Re-define definitions of diseases – Greater efficacy in selected population may result in smaller patient populations – Novel surrogates to be validated – Dosing aimed at target rather than MTD – Dose studies, chronic administration
  24. 24. Challenges • Greater number of candidate drugs – Careful selection of agents to demonstrate clinical benefit by oncology community – Patient accrual to trials need to be increased – Patients entering trials should reflect the patient population which will eventually use the drug – International studies, international agreement of endpoints and study design and approval criteria

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