Tumor status at 12 weeks predicts survival in advanced colorectal cancer: Findings from NCCTG N9741

James M. Heun, Axel Grothey, Megan E. Branda, Richard M. Goldberg, Daniel J. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose. We explored the prognostic value of actual tumor measurements (TM) versus World Health Organization (WHO) criteria as three-level (responder, stable, and progression) and two-level (responder and non-responder) variables at 12 and 24 weeks as predictors of survival in Intergroup Trial N9741, a phase III trial in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods. All patients with measurable disease (N = 1,188) were included. The percentage changes in TM from baseline to 12 and 24 weeks were calculated. The prognostic values ofTMversusWHOcriteria (as threeand two-level variables) at 12 and 24 weeks were compared, using Cox models for overall survival (OS) in a landmark analysis, adjusting for baseline tumor size, performance status, and treatment arm. Results. Tumor status at 12 weeks by WHO criteria (three or two levels) or actual TM were all strongly associated with OS. Actual TM provided no meaningful additional benefit compared with the three-level WHOcriteria. Tumor status at 24 weeks was also strongly associated with survival, but added no additional prognostic value compared with the 12-week assessment. At 12 weeks, actualTMimproved prognostic characterization of patients with WHO status of response, but provided no additional value in patients with stable disease or progression. Conclusions. In N9741, the use of actual TM, or following tumor status beyond 12 weeks, did not improve survival prediction compared with a single three-levelresponse assessment at 12 weeks, suggesting that 12-week tumor status could be an appropriate phase II trial endpoint in metastatic CRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Clinical trial
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Endpoints
  • Tumor status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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