Do Cancer Clinical Trials Exaggerate The Real-World Benefits Of Drugs?
11/21/2016 7:12:18 AM
The large clinical trials needed for federal approval of new cancer drugs often way overstate how effective the treatments will be in the real world, two cancer physicians argued recently in JAMA Oncology.
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The point of cancer clinical trials — in which some volunteers take the experimental drug, others receive standard care with existing drugs, and the groups are compared on measures such as whether their tumors shrink, how long they go before tumors return, and how long they survive — is to see whether a drug is safe and effective enough to be sold to American patients. The whole process rests on the premise that the trials give an accurate indication of safety and efficacy among cancer patients in general, not only those who are eligible for and selected for the trial.
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