Purpose: To define methodology to show clinical benefit for patients in the state of a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Hypothesis: A clinical states framework was used to address the hypothesis that definitive phase III trials could not be conducted in this patient population.
Patient population: The Group focused on men with systemic (nonlocalized) recurrence and a defined risk of developing clinically detectable metastases. Models to define systemic versus local recurrence, and risk of metastatic progression were discussed.
Intervention: Therapies that have shown favorable effects in more advanced clinical states; meaningful biologic surrogates of activity linked with efficacy in other tumor types; and/or effects on a target or pathway known to contribute to prostate cancer progression in this state can be considered for evaluation.
Outcomes: An intervention-specific posttherapy PSA-based outcome definition that would justify further testing should be described at the outset. Reporting: Trial reports should include a table showing the number of patients who achieve a specific PSA-based outcome, the number who remain enrolled onto the trial, and the number who came off study at different time points. The term PSA response should be abandoned.
Trial design: The phases of drug development for this state are optimizing dose and schedule, demonstration of a treatment effect, and clinical benefit. To move a drug forward should require a high bar that includes no rise in PSA in a defined proportion of patients for a specified period of time at a minimum. Agents that do not produce this effect can only be tested in combination. The preferred end point of clinical benefit is prostate cancer-specific survival; the time to development of metastatic disease is an alternative.
Conclusion: Methodology to show that an intervention alters the natural history of prostate cancer is described. At each stage of development, only agents with sufficient activity should be moved forward.