Rationale and design of decision: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase III trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of sorafenib in patients with locally advanced or metastatic radioactive iodine (RAI)-refractory, differentiated thyroid cancer

BMC Cancer. 2011 Aug 11;11:349. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-349.


Background: The incidence of thyroid cancer and the number of patients who die from this disease are increasing globally. Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is the histologic subtype present in most patients and is primarily responsible for the increased overall incidence of thyroid cancer. Sorafenib is a multikinase inhibitor that targets several molecular signals believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of thyroid cancer, including those implicated in DTC. In phase II studies of patients with DTC, sorafenib treatment has yielded a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 58 to 84 weeks and disease control rates of 59% to 100%. The DECISION trial was designed to assess the ability of sorafenib to improve PFS in patients with locally advanced or metastatic, radioactive iodine (RAI)-refractory DTC.

Methods/design: DECISION is a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase III study in patients with locally advanced/metastatic RAI-refractory DTC. Study treatment will continue until radiographically documented disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, noncompliance, or withdrawal of consent. Efficacy will be evaluated every 56 days (2 cycles), whereas safety will be evaluated every 28 days (1 cycle) for the first 8 months and every 56 days thereafter. Following disease progression, patients may continue or start sorafenib, depending on whether they were randomized to receive sorafenib or placebo, at investigator discretion. Patients originally randomized to receive sorafenib will be followed up every 3 months for overall survival (OS); patients originally randomized to receive placebo will be followed up every month for 8 months after cross-over to sorafenib. The duration of the trial is expected to be 30 months from the time the first patient is randomized until the planned number of PFS events is attained. The primary endpoint is PFS; secondary endpoints include OS, time to disease progression, disease control rate, response rate, duration of response, safety, and pharmacokinetic analysis.

Discussion: The DECISION study has been designed to test whether sorafenib improves PFS in patients with locally advanced or metastatic RAI-refractory DTC.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00984282; EudraCT: 2009-012007-25.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzenesulfonates / adverse effects
  • Benzenesulfonates / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Pyridines / adverse effects
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Research Design*
  • Sorafenib
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Pyridines
  • Niacinamide
  • Sorafenib

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00984282