The use of potential surrogate end points for overall survival, such as disease-free survival (DFS) or time-to-treatment failure (TTF) is increasingly common in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in cancer. However, the definition of time-to-event (TTE) end points is rarely precise and lacks uniformity across trials. End point definition can impact trial results by affecting estimation of treatment effect and statistical power. The DATECAN initiative (Definition for the Assessment of Time-to-event End points in CANcer trials) aims to provide recommendations for definitions of TTE end points. We report guidelines for RCT in sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).Methods
We first carried out a literature review to identify TTE end points (primary or secondary) reported in publications of RCT. An international multidisciplinary panel of experts proposed recommendations for the definitions of these end points. Recommendations were developed through a validated consensus method formalizing the degree of agreement among experts.Results
Recommended guidelines for the definition of TTE end points commonly used in RCT for sarcomas and GIST are provided for adjuvant and metastatic settings, including DFS, TTF, time to progression and others.Conclusion
Use of standardized definitions should facilitate comparison of trials' results, and improve the quality of trial design and reporting. These guidelines could be of particular interest to research scientists involved in the design, conduct, reporting or assessment of RCT such as investigators, statisticians, reviewers, editors or regulatory authorities.