Oncology Phase I Trial Design and Conduct: Time for a Change MDICT Guidelines 2022
D Araujo 1, A Greystoke 2, S Bates 3, A Bayle 4, E Calvo 5, L Castelo-Branco 6, J de Bono 7, A Drilon 8, E Garralda 9, P Ivy 10, O Kholmanskikh 11, I Melero 12, G Pentheroudakis 6, J Petrie 13, R Plummer 2, S Ponce 4, S Postel-Vinay 4, L Siu 14, A Spreafico 14, A Stathis 15, N Steeghs 16, C Yap 17, T A Yap 18, M Ratain 19, L Seymour 20
In 2021, the Food and Drug Administration Oncology Center of Excellence announced Project Optimus focusing on dose optimization for oncology drugs. The Methodology for the Development of Innovative Cancer Therapies (MDICT) Taskforce met to review and discuss the optimization of dosage for oncology trials and to develop a practical guide for oncology phase I trials.
Defining a single recommended phase II dose based on toxicity may define doses that are neither the most effective nor the best tolerated. MDICT recommendations address the need for robust non-clinical data which are needed to inform trial design, as well as an expert team including statisticians and pharmacologists.
The protocol must be flexible and adaptive, with clear definition of all endpoints. Health authorities should be consulted early and regularly. Strategies such as randomization, intrapatient dose escalation, and real-world eligibility criteria are encouraged whereas serial tumor sampling is discouraged in the absence of a strong rationale and appropriately validated assay.
Endpoints should include consideration of all longitudinal toxicity. The phase I dose escalation trial should define the recommended dose range for later testing in randomized phase II trials, rather than a single recommended phase II dose, and consider scenarios where different populations may require different dosages.
The adoption of these recommendations will improve dosage selection in early clinical trials of new anticancer treatments and ultimately, outcomes for patients.