Timing and extent of response in colorectal cancer: Critical review of current data and implication for future trials

Giuseppe Aprile, Caterina Fontanella, Marta Bonotto, Karim Rihawi, Stefania Eufemia Lutrino, Laura Ferrari, Mariaelena Casagrande, Elena Ongaro, Massimiliano Berretta, Antonio Avallone, Gerardo Rosati, Francesco Giuliani, Gianpiero Fasola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification of new surrogate endpoints for advanced colorectal cancer is becoming crucial and, along with drug development, it represents a research field increasingly studied. Although overall survival (OS) remains the strongest trial endpoint available, it requires larger sample size and longer periods of time for an event to happen. Surrogate endpoints such as progression free survival (PFS) or response rate (RR) may overcome these issues but, as such, they need to be prospectively validated before replacing the real endpoints; moreover, they often bear many other limitations. In this narrative review we initially discuss the role of time-to-event endpoints, objective response and response rate as surrogates of OS in the advanced colorectal cancer setting, discussing also how such measures are influenced by the tumor assessment criteria currently employed. We then report recent data published about early tumor shrinkage and deepness of response, which have recently emerged as novel potential endpoint surrogates, discussing their strengths and weaknesses and providing a critical comment. Despite being very compelling, the role of such novel response measures is yet to be confirmed and their surrogacy with OS still needs to be further investigated within larger and well-designed trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28716-28730
Number of pages15
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Deepness of response
  • Early tumor shrinkage
  • Endpoint
  • Response rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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