A 25-Year Experience of US Food and Drug Administration Accelerated Approval of Malignant Hematology and Oncology Drugs and Biologics: A Review

JAMA Oncol. 2018 Jun 1;4(6):849-856. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.5618.


Importance: Accelerated approval (AA) is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expedited program intended to speed the approval of drugs and biologics that may demonstrate a meaningful advantage over available therapies for diseases that are serious or life-threatening.

Observations: This review describes all malignant hematology and oncology AAs from inception of the program on December 11, 1992, to May 31, 2017. During this period, the FDA granted AA to 64 malignant hematology and oncology products for 93 new indications. Of these AAs, 53 were for new molecular entities. Overall, the end point of response rate, including hematologic response rates, accounted for most AAs (81 [87%]), followed by time-to-event end points of progression-free survival or time to progression (8 [9%]) and disease-free survival or recurrence-free survival (4 [4%]). Single-arm trial designs provided the data for 67 (72%) of the initial AA indications. Of the 93 AAs, 51 (55%) have fulfilled their postmarketing requirement and verified benefit in a median of 3.4 years after their initial AA. Thirty-seven (40%) indications have not yet completed confirmatory trial(s) or verified benefit, and 5 indications receiving AA (5%) have been withdrawn from the market.

Conclusions and relevance: The use of the AA program during the past 25 years has increased over time, and only a small portion of indications under the AA program fail to verify clinical benefit. For patients with serious or life-threatening oncologic diseases, AA brings products to the market years before confirmatory trials are typically completed.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / history*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biological Products / adverse effects
  • Biological Products / history*
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / history
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drug Approval / history*
  • Drugs, Investigational / adverse effects
  • Drugs, Investigational / history
  • Drugs, Investigational / therapeutic use
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Hematologic Diseases / drug therapy
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Product Surveillance, Postmarketing
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Biomarkers
  • Drugs, Investigational