VIENNA—Can neoadjuvant breast cancer data be used to accelerate drug development? At the recent annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology, a pro–con argument was conducted in a lively manner meant to incite controversy, convince audience members to change their minds and provide a few laughs in the process. PowerPoint slides even incorporated images of a bullfight with Jose Baselga, MD, PhD, in the arena.
Neoadjuvant Data: The Pro Argument
Dr. Baselga, the physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, vehemently argued that pathologic complete response (pCR) can be used as a surrogate marker for disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Neoadjuvant trials, he said, provide an efficient trial design for assessing the efficacy of novel therapies. They involve smaller sample sizes, faster trials and less money than large Phase III adjuvant trials…Read more