The Case for Real-world Evidence in the Future of Clinical Research on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Clin Ther. 2019 Feb;41(2):336-349. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.12.013. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Abstract

Purpose: In light of recently published guidelines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the communication of real-world data (RWD) and real-world evidence (RWE) to support regulatory decision making, it is important to understand how such data are developed, the limitations of these data, and how to best use RWD to improve patient care. Historically, the use of RWE has been approached with skepticism because of its often-retrospective nature compared with data from conventional randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This review discusses the role and function of RWE and RWD in clinical research. We summarize the types of RWE used in clinical research, outline the challenges and limitations involved with these data, and suggest how these types of analyses can supplement results from clinical trials to foster a more complete understanding of a drug or disease area of interest. In particular, we focus on the role of RWE in investigating chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy for CML.

Methods: We reviewed FDA guidance on the use of RWE and conducted a PubMed literature search to evaluate published data from real-world studies in CML.

Findings: RWE includes analysis of RWD gathered from nonconventional sources, including patient registries, observational studies, and social media, among others. Importantly, although real-world studies do not adhere to the same degree of controlled conditions and predefined patient-management strategies as do conventional clinical trials, analyses resulting from these studies can be held to a high degree of validation and standardization, making them as meaningful as those from RCTs. In CML, RWE has informed early treatment milestones and has provided a window into patient perspectives regarding treatment. These types of analyses have already informed and can continue to inform disease management. These improvements in disease management, in turn, will help clinicians to better forecast treatment challenges and allow for the optimization of future treatment paradigms.

Implications: Real-world studies are different from conventional RCTs and therefore provide insight into distinct aspects of treatment and patient outcomes. Together with results from clinical trials, RWE can help to illustrate a more complete picture of the tolerability, effectiveness, and impact of a drug. The recently published guidelines indicate that the FDA expects a growing role for RWE.

Keywords: chronic myeloid leukemia; patient outcomes; real-world data; real-world evidence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / drug therapy*
  • Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors