Publications (2)0 Total impact
Article: [Post launch studies].[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is a growing concept in Japan as it is elsewhere. Central to improving the use of EBM is generation of data through well conducted controlled clinical studies. There are many problems associated with conduct of clinical studies after launch in Japan, and many initiatives are ongoing to improve the situation. Development of Clinical Research Coordinators (CRO) and central Data Management centers are key to improving the quality of clinical research in Japan. Currently Japan has an undeveloped legal system with regard to post-launch trials and off-label use of registered drugs. There is no reimbursement for off-label and various restrictions imposed on the recipients of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's (MHLW) funds. Maybe the biggest problem is the high cost of post-marketing studies sponsored by pharmaceutical manufacturers. A high quality system to support post launch clinical studies need a solid financial base. There is a need for a suitable review system for investigator initiated multi-centre studies, as the current IRB system is not sufficient. There are also challenges regarding the differences, perceived or real, in treatment practice and available registrations in Japan and in the West, causing problems in choosing suitable comparators and study designs. At the present time it is not clear whether investigator initiated trials will be acceptable for registration purposes in Japan. The agreed first priority is to build a suitable and strong infrastructure within the academic community to support researchers to investigate important questions with or without pharmaceutical company support. Despite all these issues, several groundbreaking projects are under way throughout Japan, in many different areas and by different collaborative groups, some with government support. In fact, researcher-initiated clinical trials achieved a rapid growth in Japan in the past year.
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ABSTRACT: A survey of cancer treatment in a sample of hospitals > 100 beds conducted in 1998 compared with experience in the US showed that good progress has been achieved in Japan in the screening and early treatment of gastric cancer, and that the prognosis for breast cancer is better than in the West. Although in the past, the cytotoxic therapies available to physicians in Japan vs the West have been different, recent acceleration of regulatory review will result in a convergence of treatment paradigms and some improvement in acute response in many tumour types. However, world wide there is a need for new improved therapies in all cancers evaluated. Particular needs are in the management of NSCLC, advanced disease and cancers which form micrometastases. The eventual hope is that cancer can be turned from a lethal disease into a chronic disease where patients maintain a good QOL. Apart from anti hormonal therapies, the usual approach has been to kill the cancerous cells. However, the new approaches to intervening in the growth and migration of cancerous cells or the host tissue response by molecular targeting offer the promise of achieving a step change in therapy. Although EGF tyrosine Kinase inhibitors such as ZD 1839 have been shown to cause a conventional tumour response in NSCLC, many of these new approaches are unlikely to show a short term response even if they have the capacity to affect tumour development and increase disease free survival. Some compounds will require combination therapy with a conventional cytotoxic or radiotherapy to show their full benefit. For conventional cytotoxics, the usual approach to development has been to select the maximum tolerated dose and then evaluate the efficacy in advanced disease. However, for the new approaches which will not have such severe dose limiting toxicities, it will be necessary to select a surrogate marker of the intended biological effect to select the optimal biological dose (OBD) and dose regimen in phase I/II studies for further evaluation in phase II or III studies which are designed to show the expected patient benefit. The tumour target, the stage of the disease and the possible need for concomitant therapy will also have to be considered according to the mechanism of action of the product.
University of Tsukuba
Tsukuba, Ibaraki-ken, Japan
- Department of Urology