Review of meta-analyses evaluating surrogate endpoints for overall survival in oncology
Overall survival (OS) is the gold standard in measuring the treatment effect of new drug therapies for cancer. However, practical factors may preclude the collection of unconfounded OS data, and surrogate endpoints are often used instead. Meta-analyses have been widely used for the validation of surrogate endpoints, specifically in oncology. This research reviewed published meta-analyses on the types of surrogate measures used in oncology studies and examined the extent of correlation between surrogate endpoints and OS for different cancer types. A search was conducted in October 2010 to compile available published evidence in the English language for the validation of disease progression-related endpoints as surrogates of OS, based on meta-analyses. We summarize published meta-analyses that quantified the correlation between progression-based endpoints and OS for multiple advanced solid-tumor types. We also discuss issues that affect the interpretation of these findings. Progression-free survival is the most commonly used surrogate measure in studies of advanced solid tumors, and correlation with OS is reported for a limited number of cancer types. Given the increased use of crossover in trials and the availability of second-/third-line treatment options available to patients after progression, it will become increasingly more difficult to establish correlation between effects on progression-free survival and OS in additional tumor types.