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Although progression-free survival is increasingly used in clinical trials to validate cancer medicines, a new study indicates this approach is not necessarily improving patient quality of life.

An analysis of 52 articles reporting on 38 randomized clinical trials involving nearly 14,000 patients — who were suffering from 12 different forms of cancer — found no significant association between health-related quality of life and survival when the disease was not worsening. The researchers reviewed trials that were published from 2000 to 2016.


The findings, which were published in JAMA Internal Medicine, challenge the idea that progression-free survival should be used as a primary endpoint in cancer trials and, instead, suggest that studies should focus on overall survival benefits as well as ways to measure a better quality of life.

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