Standard adverse event (AE) reporting in oncology clinical trials has historically relied on clinician grading, which prior research has shown can lead to underestimation of rates of symptomatic AEs. Industry sponsors are beginning to implement in trials the National Cancer Institute’s Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE), which was developed to allow patients to self-report symptomatic AEs and improve the quality of symptomatic AE detection.

To evaluate the feasibility of implementing PRO-CTCAE in a prespecified correlative analysis of the phase 3 COMET-2 trial and enumerate statistically significant between-group differences in symptomatic AEs using PRO-CTCAE and the CTCAE.

This correlative study of 119 men in the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 COMET-2 trial with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who had undergone at least 2 prior lines of systemic treatment was conducted from March 2012 to July 2014. Participants completed PRO-CTCAE items using an automated telephone system from home prior to treatment and every 3 weeks during treatment. Statistical analysis was performed from May 2018 to June 2019.

The proportion of patients who completed expected PRO-CTCAE self-reports was computed as a measure of feasibility.

Among the 119 men in the study (median age, 65 years [range, 44-80 years]), 534 of 587 (91.0%) expected PRO-CTCAE self-reports were completed, with consistently high rates of completion throughout participation. Rates of self-report adherence were similar between groups (cabozantinib s-maleate, 286 of 317 [90.2%]; and mitoxantrone hydrochloride-prednisone, 248 of 270 [91.9%]). Of 12 measured, patient-reported PRO-CTCAE symptomatic AEs, 4 reached statistical significance when comparing the proportion of patients with at least 1 postbaseline score greater than 0 between groups (differences ranged from 20.1% to 34.1% with higher proportions in the cabozantinib group; all P < .05), and use of a method for accounting for preexisting symptoms at baseline yielded 7 AEs with statistically significant differences between groups (differences ranged from 20.5% to 41.2% with higher proportions in the cabozantinib group; all P < .05). In the same analysis using investigator-reported CTCAE data, no statistically significant differences were found between groups for any symptomatic AEs.

PRO-CTCAE data collection was feasible and improved the accuracy of symptomatic AE detection in a phase 3 cancer trial. This analysis adds to mounting evidence of the feasibility and value of patient-reported AEs in oncology, which should be considered for inclusion in cancer trials that incorporate AE evaluation. identifier: NCT01522443.

JAMA oncology. 2019 Sep 26 [Epub ahead of print]

Amylou C Dueck, Howard I Scher, Antonia V Bennett, Gina L Mazza, Gita Thanarajasingam, Gisela Schwab, Aaron L Weitzman, Lauren J Rogak, Ethan Basch

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona., Department of Medicine, Genitourinary Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York., Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill., Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota., Exelixis Inc, South San Francisco, California., Independent Consultant, San Francisco, California., Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.