An Approach to the Validation of Markers for Use in AIDS Clinical Trials

Clin Infect Dis. 1997 May;24(5):764-74. doi: 10.1093/clinids/24.5.764.


Dr. Mildvan and coauthors have thoroughly reviewed and documented what is known about the validation of surrogate markers for use in clinical trials. They have proposed a classification system based on the usefulness of available immunologic and virological assays as measures of prognosis, drug activity, and therapeutic efficacy. The latter, a type II marker in the proposed classification, should estimate the proportion of treatment effect explained by change in the marker induced by therapy and, if complete, can substitute for clinical endpoints. HIV clinical trialists have had a long-standing interest in using surrogates for clinical endpoints to facilitate conduct of experimental protocols and to decrease the time and effort required to develop new treatment strategies. The approach outlined in this review by experienced clinicians, biostatisticians, and immunologists provides a framework to evaluate currently available and potential surrogate markers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers