[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ACTION trial was initiated to provide evidence from a randomised trial on the effects of chemotherapy in women aged over 70 years where evidence for risk and benefit are lacking.
This was a randomised, phase III clinical trial for high risk, oestrogen receptor (ER) negative/ER weakly positive early breast cancer. The trial planned to recruit 1000 women aged 70 years and older, randomised to receive 4 cycles of anthracycline chemotherapy or observation. The primary endpoint was relapse-free interval. The trial included a pilot phase to assess the acceptability and feasibility of recruitment.
The trial opened at 43 UK centres. Information on number of patients approached was available from 38 centres. Of the 43 eligible patients that were approached, 39 were not randomised due to patients declining entry. After 10 months only 4 patients had been randomised and after discussion with the research funder, the trial was closed and funding terminated.
Despite widespread support at several public meetings, input from patient groups including representation on the Trial Management Group, the trial failed to recruit due to the inability to convince patients to accept randomisation. It would therefore seem that randomising the patients to receive chemotherapy vs observation is not a viable design in the current era for this patient population.
British Journal of Cancer 10/2011; 105(9):1260-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The risk of recurrence following surgery in women with early breast cancer varies, depending upon prognostic factors. Adjuvant chemotherapy reduces this risk; however, increasingly effective regimens are associated with higher costs and toxicity profiles, making it likely that different regimens may be cost-effective for women with differing prognoses. To investigate this we performed a cost-effectiveness analysis of four treatment strategies: (1) no chemotherapy, (2) chemotherapy using cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF) (a first generation regimen), (3) chemotherapy using Epirubicin-CMF (E-CMF) or fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC60) (a second generation regimens), and (4) chemotherapy with FEC60 followed by docetaxel (FEC-D) (a third generation regimen). These adjuvant chemotherapy regimens were used in three large UK-led randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
A Markov model was used to simulate the natural progression of early breast cancer and the impact of chemotherapy on modifying this process. The probability of a first recurrent event within the model was estimated for women with different prognostic risk profiles using a parametric regression-based survival model incorporating established prognostic factors. Other probabilities, treatment effects, costs and quality of life weights were estimated primarily using data from the three UK-led RCTs, a meta-analysis of all relevant RCTs, and other published literature. The model predicted the lifetime costs, quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and cost-effectiveness of the four strategies for women with differing prognoses. Sensitivity analyses investigated the impact of uncertain parameters and model assumptions.
For women with an average to high risk of recurrence (based upon prognostic factors and any other adjuvant therapies received), FEC-D appeared most cost-effective assuming a threshold of £20,000 per QALY for the National Health Service (NHS). For younger low risk women, E-CMF/FEC60 tended to be the optimal strategy and, for some older low risk women, the model suggested a policy of no chemotherapy was cost-effective. For no patient group was CMF chemotherapy the preferred option. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated cost-effectiveness results to be particularly sensitive to the treatment effect estimate for FEC-D and the future price of docetaxel.
To our knowledge, this analysis is the first cost-effectiveness comparison of no chemotherapy, and first, second, and third generation adjuvant chemotherapy regimens for early breast cancer patients with differing prognoses. The results demonstrate the potential for different treatment strategies to be cost-effective for different types of patients. These findings may prove useful for policy makers attempting to formulate cost-effective treatment guidelines in the field of early breast cancer.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 07/2011; 47(17):2517-30. · 4.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Questionnaires were circulated to UK patients and health care professionals (HCPs) participating in the Taxotere as Adjuvant ChemoTherapy (TACT) trial in autumn 2004 asking if and how trial results, when available, should be conveyed to patients. A total of 1431 (37% of surviving UK TACT patients) returned questionnaires. In all, 30 (2%) patients did not want results. In all, 554 (40%) patients preferred to receive them via their hospital; 664 (47%) preferred results posted directly to their home, 177 (13%) preferred a letter providing a telephone number to request results. Six hundred and twelve patients thought results should come directly from the trials office. One hundred and seventy-six HCPs from 89 UK centres (86%) returned questionnaires. In all, 169 out of 176 patients (96%) thought results should be written in lay terms for patients. Seventy (41%) preferred patients to receive results via their hospital; 64 (38%) preferred a letter providing a telephone number to request results, and 32 (19%) preferred results posted directly to patients. Thirty-one HCPs (18%) thought results to patients should come directly from the trials office. A total of 868 (61%) patients thought next of kin of deceased patients should receive results, 543 (38%) did not; 47 (27%) HCPs thought they should; 118 (68%) did not.
British Journal of Cancer 02/2008; 98(1):34-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Randomised clinical trials that exceed anticipated recruitment rates will by definition have the necessary precision to answer the research question within the expected time, thus ensuring the timely release of data that will inform future clinical practice. In addition, the national or international momentum generated brings with it a collective sense of achievement. Such trials, however, may also identify logistical and scientific problems that researchers should be aware of and for which provision needs to be made. The logistical problems relate to the rapid identification of the extra resources required to allow continued excellence in day-to-day management and monitoring of trial governance (both in participating centres and in coordinating trials units). The scientific/clinical problems include managing issues such as unexpected toxicities and suboptimal compliance, and the lack of time available in a rapidly recruiting trial to address them. A related issue concerns the lack of time available to initiate substudies (e.g. biological substudies), the relevance of which may only become apparent as the trial progresses. Many of these challenges were highlighted by recent experience with the Cancer Research UK Taxotere as Adjuvant Chemotherapy trial.
British Journal of Cancer 06/2005; 92(9):1679-83. · 5.08 Impact Factor