Oral anticancer drugs: how limited dosing options and dose reductions may affect outcomes in comparative trials and efficacy in patients.
Journal: J Clin Oncol
Date: 2014 May 20
Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): CPFP
PubMed ID: 24711558
PMC ID: PMC4026582
Abstract: Historically, cancer medicine has avoided the problem of unequal dosing by comparing maximum-tolerated doses of intravenous regimens with proportionate dose reductions for toxicity. However, in recent years, with the development of numerous oral anticancer agents, dosing options are arbitrarily and increasingly limited by the size of pills. We contend that an underappreciated consequence of pill size is unequal dosing in comparative clinical trials and that this can have an impact on outcomes. We discuss how comparative effectiveness trials can be unbalanced and how the use of doses that are not sustainable might affect outcomes, especially marginal ones. We further argue that because of their poor tolerability and their limited dosing options, which often result in large dose adjustments in response to toxicity, the real-world clinical effectiveness of oral anticancer agents may be diminished and may not emulate results achieved in registration trials.