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Publications (5)20.23 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Currently available evidence does not provide definitive guidance regarding the optimal chemotherapy agents and combinations in anthracycline- and taxane-pretreated advanced breast cancer. We performed a systematic review of controlled clinical trials of the cytotoxic agents currently used for this population in Europe: capecitabine, gemcitabine, vinorelbine, docetaxel, paclitaxel and paclitaxel protein-bound particles. A systematic review of randomised (RCT) and non-randomised controlled clinical trials (non-RCTs). The primary outcomes of interest were overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS); secondary outcomes were duration of response (DR), overall response rate (ORR), adverse events and quality of life (QoL). Six electronic databases and grey literature sources were searched; reference tracking was performed on included publications. A narrative synthesis was conducted: heterogeneity of study design and interventions prevented meta-analysis. No randomised controlled trial (RCT) found any significant differences between any of the regimens in terms of OS. In terms of PFS, only gemcitabine plus vinorelbine performed significantly better than its comparator, vinorelbine alone. For secondary outcomes, only capecitabine plus bevacizumab had a significantly better outcome than its comparator, capecitabine alone, in terms of ORR. A low quality non-RCT found that both capecitabine monotherapy and a combination of capecitabine plus vinorelbine were significantly more effective than vinorelbine alone in terms of OS and ORR. Across all trials, median OS for these patients typically remained less than 16 months. The quantity and quality of the available evidence regarding the efficacy of the particular chemotherapy regimens in patients with advanced breast cancer pretreated with an anthracycline and a taxane is extremely limited. New effective therapies are sorely needed in this population.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 08/2009; 45(16):2749-58. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and incremental cost-effectiveness of amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir for seasonal and post-exposure prophylaxis of influenza. A MEDLINE search strategy was used and searches were carried out in July 2007. An independent health economic model was developed based on a review of existing cost-effectiveness models and clinical advice.The model draws together a broad spectrum of evidence relating to the costs and consequences associated with influenza and its prevention. Where direct evidence concerning the effectiveness of prophylaxis within specific model subgroups was lacking, the model uses estimates from mixed subgroups or extrapolates from other mutually exclusive subgroups. Twenty-six published references relating to 22 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included in the clinical effectiveness review, along with one unpublished report. Eight, six and nine RCTs were included for amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir respectively. The study quality was variable and gaps in the evidence base limited the assessment of the clinical effectiveness of the interventions. For seasonal prophylaxis, there was limited evidence for the efficacy of amantadine in preventing symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed influenza (SLCI) in healthy adults [relative risk (RR) 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.08-2.03]. Oseltamivir was effective in preventing SLCI, particularly when used in at-risk elderly subjects (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01-0.63). The preventative efficacy of zanamivir was most notable in at-risk adults and adolescents (RR 0.17, 95% CI 0.07-0.44), and healthy and at-risk elderly subjects (RR 0.20, 95% CI 0.02-1.72). For post-exposure prophylaxis, data on the use of amantadine were again limited: in adolescents an RR of 0.10 (95% CI 0.03-0.34) was reported for the prevention of SLCI. Oseltamivir was effective in households of mixed composition (RR 0.19, 95% CI 0.08-0.45). The efficacy of zanamivir in post-exposure prophylaxis within households was also reported (RR 0.21, 95% CI 0.13-0.33). Interventions appeared to be well tolerated. Limited evidence was available for the effectiveness of the interventions in preventing complications and hospitalisation and in minimising length of illness and time to return to normal activities. No clinical effectiveness data were identified for health-related quality of life or mortality outcomes. With the exception of at-risk children, the incremental cost-utility of seasonal influenza prophylaxis is expected to be in the range 38,000-428,000 pounds per QALY gained (depending on subgroup). The cost-effectiveness ratios for oseltamivir and zanamivir as post-exposure prophylaxis are expected to be below 30,000 pounds per QALY gained in healthy children, at-risk children, healthy elderly and at-risk elderly individuals. Despite favourable clinical efficacy estimates, the incorporation of recent evidence of viral resistance to amantadine led to it being dominated in every economic comparison. All three interventions showed some efficacy for seasonal and post-exposure prophylaxis. However, weaknesses and gaps in the clinical evidence base are directly relevant to the interpretation of the health economic model and rendered the use of advanced statistical analyses inappropriate. These data limitations should be borne in mind in interpreting the findings of the review.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 03/2009; 13(11):iii, ix-xii, 1-246. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To provide an evidence-based perspective on the prognostic value of novel markers in localised prostate cancer and to identify the best prognostic model including the three classical markers and investigate whether models incorporating novel markers are better. Eight electronic bibliographic databases were searched during March-April 2007. The reference lists of relevant articles were checked and various health services research-related resources consulted via the internet. The search was restricted to publications from 1970 onwards in the English language. Selected studies were assessed, data extracted using a standard template, and quality assessed using an adaptation of published criteria. Because of the heterogeneity regarding populations, outcomes and study type, meta-analyses were not undertaken and the results are presented in tabulated format with a narrative synthesis of the results. In total 30 papers met the inclusion criteria, of which 28 reported on prognostic novel markers and five on prognostic models. A total of 21 novel markers were identified from the 28 novel marker studies. There was considerable variability in the results reported, the quality of the studies was generally poor and there was a shortage of studies in some categories. The marker with the strongest evidence for its prognostic significance was prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity (or doubling time). There was a particularly strong association between PSA velocity and prostate cancer death in both clinical and pathological models. In the clinical model the hazard ratio for death from prostate cancer was 9.8 (95% CI 2.8-34.3, p < 0.001) in men with an annual PSA velocity of more than 2 ng/ml versus an annual PSA velocity of 2 ng/ml or less; similarly, the hazard ratio was 12.8 (95% CI 3.7-43.7, p < 0.001) in the pathological model. The quality of the prognostic model studies was adequate and overall better than the quality of the prognostic marker studies. Two issues were poorly dealt with in most or all of the prognostic model studies: inclusion of established markers and consideration of the possible biases from study attrition. Given the heterogeneity of the models, they cannot be considered comparable. Only two models did not include a novel marker, and one of these included several demographic and co-morbidity variables to predict all-cause mortality. Only two models reported a measure of model performance, the C-statistic, and for neither was it calculated in an external data set. It was not possible to assess whether the models that included novel markers performed better than those without. This review highlighted the poor quality and heterogeneity of studies, which render much of the results inconclusive. It also pinpointed the small proportion of models reported in the literature that are based on patient cohorts with a mean or median follow-up of at least 5 years, thus making long-term predictions unreliable. PSA velocity, however, stood out in terms of the strength of the evidence supporting its prognostic value and the relatively high hazard ratios. There is great interest in PSA velocity as a monitoring tool for active surveillance but there is as yet no consensus on how it should be used and, in particular, what threshold should indicate the need for radical treatment.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 01/2009; 13(5):iii, xi-xiii 1-219. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of docetaxel and paclitaxel compared with non-taxane, anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens, for the adjuvant treatment of women with early-stage breast cancer. Major electronic databases were searched between October 2005 and February 2006. A systematic review of the literature on adjuvant taxane versus anthracycline non-taxane chemotherapy for women with early breast cancer was undertaken. A mathematical model was developed to synthesise the available data on costs, disease-free survival and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients receiving taxane-containing chemotherapy versus non-taxane-containing chemotherapy. Eight of the 11 selected trials (six docetaxel and five paclitaxel) reported a significant improvement in disease-free survival (DFS) or time to recurrence (TTR) for taxanes over comparator regimens. Docetaxel was associated with more adverse events than paclitaxel, most notably febrile neutropenia. Taxanes produced cardiotoxicity, although this was not reported to be greater than for anthracycline comparator arms in all trials. Treatment-related deaths were uncommon. Where reported, all chemotherapy regimens caused HRQoL to deteriorate during treatment. Following treatment, there were no clinically significant differences between taxane and comparator treatment groups. There were few data available comparing licensed regimens of taxanes with chemotherapy regimens commonly used in the UK. The three trials selected as the basis for the economic analysis were those that used the taxanes in accordance with current UK marketing authorisation and had also reported in full. The estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for docetaxel compared to FAC6, based on the BCIRG 001 study, is 12,000 pounds (7000-39,000 pounds) and for paclitaxel compared with Adriamycin/cyclophosphamide, based on the NSABP B28 and CALGB 9344 studies, is 43,000 pounds (16,000 pounds-dominated) and 39,000 pounds (12,000 pounds-dominated), respectively. However, the comparators used in these trials restrict the generalisability of the results, as they do not conform to current standard care in the UK, typically FEC6 and E4-CMF4. An exploratory indirect comparison shows that the benefits of taxane containing regimens compared to regimens in current use in the UK is subject to large uncertainty due to the lack of direct trial comparisons between these interventions. Assumptions regarding the benefits in the taxane arm after the trial follow-up period and the annual rate of recurrence in this period have the most significant influence on the ICER. There is a large degree of heterogeneity in the evidence base for the effectiveness of taxane- compared with non-taxane-containing regimens in terms of the interventions, comparators and populations. Eight of the 11 trials providing effectiveness data reported a significant improvement in DFS or TTR for taxanes over comparator regimens. The remaining three trials found no significant differences between the groups in DFS/TTR. The cost-effectiveness results suggest that the cost per quality-adjusted life-year for taxane- compared with non-taxane-containing chemotherapy varies between 12,000 pounds and 43,000 pounds, depending on the taxane under consideration and the specific trial used as the basis of the analysis. However, the comparators used in these trials do not conform to current standard care in the UK. More research is needed, comparing taxanes used in line with their current UK marketing authorisation and with anthracycline-containing regimens commonly used in the UK. The on-going TACT trial is expected to provide useful data. There are currently few data on the effectiveness of taxanes for the over-70s. Further research is required into the long-term outcomes of taxane therapy, such as whether there are any long-term adverse events that significantly impact on overall survival or quality of life and whether the increases in DFS will translate into increases in overall survival.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 11/2007; 11(40):1-144. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To establish the clinical and cost-effectiveness of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane compared with tamoxifen in the adjuvant treatment of early oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Major electronic databases and three trials registers were searched from May to June 2005. Three conference abstract databases were searched in December 2005. Industry submissions. Studies evaluating the clinical effectiveness of AIs against 5 years' tamoxifen treatment were included and critically appraised. The review of the health economics of AIs in early breast cancer in comparison with standard therapies included a review of existing economic evaluations of the relevant therapies, a critique of each of the economic evaluations submitted to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) by pharmaceutical manufacturers and a detailed explanation of the methodologies and results of the authors' economic model. The three treatment strategies (primary adjuvant therapy, unplanned switch therapy and extended adjuvant therapy) were considered separately within the authors' economic analysis. A meta-analysis of three trials found a significant difference in overall survival when an unplanned anastrozole switching strategy was compared with 5 years' tamoxifen. Significant improvements in overall survival are yet to be demonstrated in other strategies. Compared with 5 years' tamoxifen, disease-free survival (disease recurrence or death from any cause) was significantly improved in the primary adjuvant setting with anastrozole and letrozole, and with an exemestane switching strategy. Other trials did not report this outcome. Breast cancer recurrence (censoring death as an event) was significantly improved with primary adjuvant anastrozole and letrozole, anastrozole switching, extended adjuvant anastrozole or letrozole. The AIs and tamoxifen have different side-effect profiles, with tamoxifen responsible for small but statistically significant increases in endometrial cancer and, sometimes, thromboembolic events and stroke. AIs show a trend towards increases in osteoporosis, the statistical significance of which increases with follow-up time. The absence of tamoxifen treatment also increases the risk of hypercholesterolaemia and cardiac events in postmenopausal women. There was no significant difference in overall health-related quality of life between standard treatment and either primary adjuvant anastrozole and extended adjuvant letrozole strategies. The cost-effectiveness results for AIs compared with tamoxifen in the primary adjuvant setting, are estimated to be between 21,000 pounds and 32,000 pounds per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) based on an analysis over 35 years. There is currently no trial evidence for exemestane in this setting. The cost-effectiveness results for anastrozole and exemestane, compared with tamoxifen in the unplanned switching setting, are estimated to be 23,200 pounds and 19,200 pounds per QALY, respectively, based on an analysis over 35 years. There is currently no trial evidence for letrozole in this setting. In the extended adjuvant setting, the cost per QALY for letrozole compared with placebo is estimated to be 9800 pounds, based on an analysis over 35 years. All these results are considered to be conservative. In the base case it is assumed that the benefits of AIs over tamoxifen or placebo seen during the therapy period are gradually lost during the following 10 years. An alternative scenario, the 'benefits maintained' scenario, is tested in sensitivity analysis. Here it is assumed that following the treatment period the annual rate of recurrence in both arms is the same. This reduces the cost-effectiveness ratio by over 50%, to around 10,000-12,000 pounds, 5000 pounds and 3000 pounds in the primary adjuvant, unplanned switching and extended adjuvant setting, respectively. The limited evidence to date of benefits after the therapy period suggests that the 'benefits maintained' scenario may be realistic. The results from the economic analyses within the industry submissions are generally lower than the results from the authors' model and are close to or below 12,000 pounds in all three settings. The authors' analyses generally produce a lower estimate of QALY gain for the aromatase inhibitors, due to the more conservative assumption regarding benefits, along with differences in the utility values used in the their analysis. On the basis of the current data and within their licensed indications, AIs can be considered clinically effective compared with standard tamoxifen treatment. However, their long-term effects, in terms of both benefits and harms, remain unclear. Under the conservative assumption that benefits gained by AIs during the treatment period are gradually lost over the following 10 years, the cost per QALY for AIs compared with tamoxifen is estimated to be between 21,000 pounds and 32,000 pounds in the primary adjuvant setting and around 20,000 pounds in the unplanned switch setting. The cost per QALY for AIs compared with placebo in the extended adjuvant setting is estimated to be around 10,000 pounds. Under the less conservative assumption that rates of recurrence are the same in both arms after the therapy period is complete, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios are typically at least 50% lower, suggesting that AIs are likely to be considered cost-effective in all three settings. Understanding of the long-term treatment effects on cost-effectiveness is, however, incomplete. Data on the impact of AIs on survival are awaited from the majority of the trials to confirm whether or not the benefits seen in disease-free survival and recurrence rates are translated into overall survival benefit in the medium to long-term.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 08/2007; 11(26):iii-iv, ix-xi, 1-134. · 4.03 Impact Factor