Up to two-thirds of new cancer drugs lack evidence they extend the patient’s life, study finds

“This is important information for cancer patients and their family caregivers. Often the hard questions of how much longer life will be prolonged are not asked. More often the questions are about the chance of cure if thermotherapy is used. Ask your physician to explain the prognosis  of this treatment as the five-year survival rate. That statistic is known for almost all cancer treatments.” Bill Chesnut, MD

Up to two-thirds of new cancer drugs lack evidence they extend the patient’s life, study finds

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (10/20, Fauber) reports that a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that of the 54 new cancer drugs approved over the past five years, 36 of them were approved based upon so-called surrogate measures, rather than evidence that the drugs actually extended or improved the patient’s life. In addition, the study found that of those 36 drugs, many still had not demonstrated that they help patients live longer, even after being on the market for up to four years.

AMA Wire newsletter, November 2015.