1437O_PR - Clinical Benefit of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) Supporting US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Conversion from Accelerated to Full Approval

Date 11 September 2017
Event ESMO 2017 Congress
Session Public health policy and health economics
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Presenter Maria Borrell Puy
Citation Annals of Oncology (2017) 28 (suppl_5): v605-v649. 10.1093/annonc/mdx440
Authors M. Borrell Puy1, C. Molto Valiente1, A. Ocana Fernandez2, A. Templeton3, B. Seruga4, I. Gich5, A. Barnadas1, E. Amir6, A. Tibau1
  • 1Medical Oncology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, 8026 - Barcelona/ES
  • 2Medical Oncology Department And Translational Research Unit, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Albacete, 2006 - Albacete/ES
  • 3Medical Oncology, St. Claraspital AG, 4058 - Basel/CH
  • 4Medical Oncology, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, Ljubljana/SI
  • 5Epidemiology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, 8026 - Barcelona/ES
  • 6Dmoh, Princess Margaret Hospital, M5G 2M9 - Toronto/CA



Accelerated approval (AA) regulations were established by the US FDA to improve access to drugs for life-threatening diseases. Pharmaceutical companies must confirm efficacy in post-approval trials as predicted by the surrogate endpoint. The European Society for Medical Oncology Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (ESMO-MCBS) is a validated and reproducible tool to assess the magnitude of clinical benefit from drugs for solid tumors. Here, we evaluate confirmatory RCTs supporting conversions from AA to regular approval (RA) and their association with ESMO defined thresholds for meaningful clinical benefit.


We searched the Drugs@FDA website to identify anticancer drugs that had received AA from January 2000 to December 2016 and to assess the status regarding conversion to full approval. Drug labels and reports of post-approval trials supporting conversion to RA were reviewed and study characteristics, efficacy, toxicity and quality of life outcomes were collected. For RCTs ESMO-MCBS grades were applied. Meaningful clinical benefit was defined as a grade of A or B for trials of curative intent and 4 or 5 for those of palliative intent.


Of the 37 new indications granted AA, 17 (46%) were subsequently converted to RA based on 17 RCTs. The median time between AA and RA of oncology drugs was 3.1 years (range = 1.02–7.6). Two confirmatory trials (5%) failed to show clinical benefit. Confirmatory trials were still not completed for 18 (49%) indications; among these, the three longest intervals since AA up to the December 2016 cut-off date were 6.6, 5.9 and 2.3 years. ESMO-MCBS could be applied to 16 RCTs and 11 (69%) met the ESMO-MCBS clinically meaningful benefit threshold (100% of adjuvant trials and 58% of palliative trials).


Two thirds of RCTs supporting FDA conversion from accelerated to full approval of anticancer therapies meet the threshold for clinically meaningful benefit. AA indications should not be on the market for unacceptably prolonged intervals before confirmatory trials are completed.

Clinical trial identification

Not applicable

Legal entity responsible for the study

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau




All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.