Progression-free survival as a surrogate endpoint in advanced neuroendocrine neoplasms

    1. Masafumi Ikeda
    1. Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to H Imaoka; Email:{at}


    In oncology clinical trials, overall survival (OS) is considered the gold standard outcome measure. In phase III trials for neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs), however, progression-free survival (PFS) is more frequently used, as NENs are relatively rare and indolent neoplasms. But this surrogacy of PFS for OS has never been systematically validated. We, therefore, performed a literature-based analysis of phase II and III trials for NENs to evaluate the correlation between PFS and OS in NENs treated with medical treatment. We identified phase II and III clinical trials of medical treatment for advanced NENs based on a systematic electronic search using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. A total of 20 trials were identified, and 2530 patients and 30 treatment arms were included in the analysis. There was a statistically significant relationship between PFS and OS (rs, 0.587; 95% confidence interval, 0.249–0.925). Conversely, the objective response rate was not significantly correlated with OS. The results of subgroup analyses indicated that the correlation between PFS and OS was higher for study arms that prohibited concomitant therapy with somatostatin analogues than for those that permitted it. The results of the present analysis indicate that PFS is significantly correlated with OS, and suggest that PFS is an acceptable surrogate for OS in clinical trials for NENs.

    • Received 25 June 2017
    • Accepted 6 July 2017
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 6 July 2017
    | Table of Contents