Endpoints in clinical trials in cancer cachexia: where to start?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The lack of agreement and knowledge of optimal endpoints in cachexia trials have impeded progress in finding interventions counteracting the devastating effects cancer cachexia has on morbidity and mortality. An endpoint should both be sensitive enough to detect change and specific enough not to be influenced by other conditions or treatments.

Recent findings

There is a wealth of potential and applied endpoints in trials investigating cachexia. As of today, there is no generally acknowledged consensus, but assessments of key factors such as body composition should continue to be applied. However, the impact and effect size necessary to achieve clinical benefit using these endpoints are not clear. Further, the use of other endpoints assessing physical function, symptom evaluation and quality of life remains to be elucidated.

Summary

It is essential that endpoints are clinically relevant and further research is therefore needed to develop endpoints that are meaningful for patients with cachexia.

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