Get access

Potential surrogate endpoints in cancer research – some considerations and examples

Authors

  • S. W. Duffy,

    1. Cancer Research UK Centre for EMS, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • F. P. Treasure

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Eastern Cancer Registration and Information Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    • Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2SR, UK
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

We present an introductory survey of the use of surrogates in cancer research, in particular in clinical trials. The concept of a surrogate endpoint is introduced and contrasted with that of a biomarker. It is emphasized that a surrogate endpoint is not universal for an indication but will depend on the mechanism of treatment. We discuss the measures of validity of a surrogate and give examples of both cancer surrogates and biomarkers on the path to surrogacy. Circumstances in which a surrogate endpoint may actually be preferred to the clinical endpoint are described. We provide pointers to the recent substantive literature on surrogates. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary