Can­cer tri­als aimed at 'sur­ro­gate' tar­gets miss big­ger mark — study

Find a ran­dom per­son on the street and ask them what a can­cer drug should do. What are the odds they don’t say “it should help pa­tients live health­i­er and longer”?

A con­flu­ence of forces have pushed clin­i­cal tri­als away from that seem­ing­ly cen­tral ques­tion, with de­vel­op­ers and pa­tient groups bet­ting on the promise that aim­ing at more sub­tle mea­sures can help bring need­ed ther­a­pies to mar­ket faster. But a new study from the British Med­ical Jour­nal sug­gests the con­ven­tion­al wis­dom may be right and that trend, among oth­ers, have led can­cer drugs to hit the mar­ket based off stud­ies that have a high risk of bias.

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